…Top U.S. COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci recently blamed the country’s ineffective pandemic response on an American “anti-science bias.” He…compared those discounting the importance of masks and social distancing to “anti-vaxxers” in their “amazing” refusal to listen to science.
It is Fauci’s profession of amazement that amazes me. As well-versed as he is in the science of the coronavirus, he’s overlooking the well-established science of “anti-science bias,” or science denial.
Americans increasingly exist in highly polarized, informationally insulated ideological communities occupying their own information universes…
In theory, resolving factual disputes should be relatively easy: Just present strong evidence, or evidence of a strong expert consensus. This approach succeeds most of the time, when the issue is, say, the atomic weight of hydrogen.
But things don’t work that way when scientific advice presents a picture that threatens someone’s perceived interests or ideological worldview. In practice, it turns out that one’s political, religious or ethnic identity quite effectively predicts one’s willingness to accept expertise on any given politicized issue.
It’s called “Motivated reasoning”, folks. The American Way.