Dr Marc Wilson

Why don’t people believe the science?

An overwhelming majority of scientists argue that anthropogenic climate change is real, that human beings evolved from simpler organisms, that GM foods are safe, and that COVID-19 is both real and dangerous. Yet, lay-consensus on these issues is much lower. Why? In this presentation, Mark talks about the role that broader belief systems and worldviews play in people’s positions on these (and other) issues. Along the way, he’ll look at his and his students’ research with thousands of New Zealanders, talk a little about conspiracy theories, mention the pope, and generally have fun.  



Marc describes himself as “intellectually indigenous” to Victoria University, Wellington NZ, having come there straight from school, completing his study here, and then sticking around “doing the rubbish jobs nobody else wanted” until I got a permanent job. His original area of teaching and research specialisation is social psychology, but he has more recently branched into adolescent mental health (particularly around suicide and self-injury). He continues to teach and research in political psychology, with an interest in the psychological foundations of political behaviour and the things that go along with it. He says that, at Skepticon, he shall “indulge my interest in the intersection of political behaviour and beliefs relating to science and pseudoscience”.