At the Minnesota State Fair. And wrote it up at Nature:
I went to the Minnesota State Fair last year wearing a sandwich board. It said, “Ask me anything about evolution.” Proponents of evolution assumed I was a religious zealot. Creationists assumed I was there to mock their beliefs. The biggest challenge in fighting misinformation? Just getting a conversation started.
This public-engagement stunt taught me a crucial lesson: the key to effective science communication isn’t the science. It’s communication.Maggie Ryan Sandford, “You can’t fight feelings with facts: start with a chat” at Nature, 578, 339 (20 February 2020) | doi: 10.1038/d41586-020-00452-3
But why on earth did she think that such a strategy would ever be an aid to effective communication?
Wasn’t she, at bottom, just trying to put the supposedly stupid mid-Western rubes on display for the supposedly sophisticated Brits? That stuff is wearing thinner all the time though the targeted Brit demographic might be the last to know.
The patronization and self-indulgence are instructive—but then so many science outlets are bowing deeply to the raging Woke as well. So expect much more (and nastier) nonsense to come down the pike than this stuff.
The remarkable thing is that so many fascinating things are happening today in the study of the ancient past. It’s not a good sign for the defenders of “evolution” (Darwinism?) that they can think of nothing better to sponsor than this stuff.
Science writer Sanford is the author of Consider the Platypus: Evolution through Biology’s Most Baffling Beasts.