Back to Volume
Paper: Doomsday 2012 and Cosmophobia: Challenges and Opportunities for Science Communication
Volume: 473, Communicating Science
Page: 3
Authors: Fraknoi, A.; Larsen, K.; Mendez, B.; Morrison, D.; Van Stone, M.
Abstract: Hollywood movies, cable-channel documentaries, and countless books and websites have convinced a significant fraction of the U.S. public that some kind of catastrophe awaits us around the winter solstice of 2012, and that the cause of this catastrophe will be an astronomical or geophysical event. “Doomsday 2012” represents both a challenge and opportunity for science communication and education. This plenary panel discussed the basic ideas of the 2012 scenario and considered what is being done and what could be done to help the public understand what is real and what isn't. These lessons can be applied to future pseudoscientific predictions about the end of the world.
Back to Volume