How (not) to engage with the public

The Thought Stash

At Nottingham Skeptics last night, we hosted geologist Hazel Gibson to talk about fracking.

Andy and I have wanted to arrange a talk about fracking for a while. We don’t know much about it, and, as for all the talks we put on at Nottingham Skeptics, we wanted to hear something evidence based. We Googled to see which speakers were “on the Skeptics In The Pub circuit”, found Hazel, and persuaded her to come to Nottingham.

Hazel was brilliant. She delivered an excellent presentation, discussing her research into what three groups of people (scientists, activists and locals) think about fracking. There was a little bit of science at the start to explain what fracking is, but the talk was mostly covering the diverse opinions of the three groups of people. Fracking is not Hazel’s specialist area –  she is more interested in the people angle.

It was almost a talk about the public perception of…

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