Welcome to the York Skeptics homepage. We are a group dedicated to the promotion of science, rationalism and critical thinking in North Yorkshire. Every month we meet up for a friendly discussion and a talk from a speaker about a subject relating to science and critical thinking. Meetings take place every fourth Monday of the month at 7:30pm in The Phoenix Inn.

We now have a blog, which you can find at yorkskeptics.blogspot.co.uk.

Why People Reject Science and What We Can Do About It

Dr Chris Hassall

Monday, November 24 2014 at 7:30PM

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75 George Street,


Please note that The Phoenix doesn't accept cards so you'll need some cash if you want to buy a drink!

Dr Chris Hassall

What's the talk about?

Climate change has been described as one of the biggest threats facing the world, but international action to mitigate the impacts of human activities on the climate is moving slowly (if at all). Why is there continued reluctance to act, and why do some people refuse to believe that climate change is even happening despite the high degree of confidence expressed by scientists?

Chris will outline briefly the science behind climate change and the tangled web of special interests that have sought to muddy the waters over a range of important scientific topics from tobacco smoke to the ozone layer. He will also discuss his role as a “skeptical activist” in investigating the extent of climate change denial at a Canadian University, and discuss the importance of skeptical involvement in education.

The talk will conclude with a discussion of the similarities across various different types of science denial, and some recent research that skeptics can use to guide their efforts to promote science in hostile communities.

Chris is a Lecturer in Animal Biology at the University of Leeds, with particular expertise in the biological impacts of environmental change. He graduated with a BSc in Zoology from the University of Liverpool and his PhD research, also conducted at Liverpool, investigated the impacts of climate change using dragonflies and damselflies as a model system. He then moved to Carleton University in Canada for three years as a Research Fellow before returning to the UK to take up a faculty position at the University of Leeds in 2012. He continues to work on large-scale patterns in ecology and evolution, with a focus on environmental change, predator-prey interactions, and freshwater science.