Stephan Lewandowsky on Science and Politics in the Age of Trump

May 8, 2017

Fortunate to interview Stephan in Carmel, CA, December 2016.


Stephan Lewandowsky (born 3 June 1958) is an Australian psychologist. He has worked in both the United States and Australia, and is currently based at the University of Bristol, UK, where he is the chair in cognitive psychology at the School of Experimental Psychology.[2] His research, which originally pertained to computer simulations of people’s decision-making processes, has recently focused on the public’s understanding of science and why people often embrace beliefs that are sharply at odds with the scientific evidence.

Lewandowsky has published a number of studies examining people’s belief in misinformation. In 2005, he was the lead author of a study which investigated people’s beliefs in assertions about the Iraq War that had actually been retracted, and which examined people’s beliefs about these assertions in Australia, the United States, and Germany. He and his co-authors found that American participants in the study persisted in believing the assertions even after being informed that they had been retracted.[7]Lewandowsky told the Wall Street Journal that the original misinformation had already become a part of the Americans’ mental worldview by the time it was retracted. He also noted that “People who were not suspicious of the motives behind the war continued to rely on misinformation.”


4 Responses to “Stephan Lewandowsky on Science and Politics in the Age of Trump”

  1. stephengn1 Says:

    When I look at Donald Trump, I not only see a narcissist. In more general terms I see an old man who fundamentally lacks imagination. I extend this to our entire current political paradigm. All of Washington, in fact, all world leadership, as far as I can see, has a fundamental lack of imagination.

    A political paradigm shift is coming – and though they will loudly complain, I have a very strong feeling that the current political paradigm is simply going to be circumvented. THEY will have to adapt. You

  2. indy222 Says:

    I can only hope that the multiple outrages being committed each day by the Trump Gang, after having saturated our ability to emotionally respond to each individually, eventually result in a spontaneous uprising that will somehow sweep them from office one way or another. I don’t know if it’ll be a torch-march on DC, or a movement to impeach that suddenly turns into an explosively rapid movement to utter completion, or something out of left field. But this just can’t go on. Can it?

  3. Lionel Smith Says:

    Or alternatively politics in the age of Facebook. Watch the Panorama episode if you can.

    Simon Milner Policy Director Facebook was very cagey about answering the question put to him:

    ‘In terms of the US presidential election did you have Facebook people working directly with the respective campaigns.’

    At first Milner offered that no Facebook people were working ‘ON’ the campaigns, the interviewer corrected by saying ‘not ON but WITH’. Milner’s answer went off into the weeds. He also evaded questioning from an MP at – he could be a government policy adviser soon.

    Amongst the Fake news items pushed (and I saw many from something called the Alan West Republic which were particularly obnoxious and clearly made up but believed by the recipients targeted I received them as by-catch by being friends with an American vet’. This ‘friend’ did not like my correctives and ‘unfriended’ me) were incorrect voting dates aimed at the demographics most likely to vote Democrat, Facebook failed to take these down.

    Looks like I could be changing my sign in mechanism here.

  4. When discussing AGW with a denier, it doesn’t take long, once they realise you know the BS they are going to spout before they actually do, for the conversation to turn to politics and economics. From that point you are automatically a socialist, comparable to Stalin. Frankly deniers are a special type of insane. The only constituency now available to the right , seems to be the intellectually challenged.

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