http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_specter_the_danger…

In an age where we rely so heavily on technology, more and more people are starting to doubt and deny the science that underlies it. In this fascinating  talk, Michael Specter discusses the danger of such denial. Examples include the supposed link between autism and vaccinations, the growth of alternative medicine and, controversially, genetically modified foods.

This video is a great tool for engaging students to think critically about important issues, such as the nature of truth and information (e.g. why do some ideas become so well established despite a complete lack of empirical evidence?). From this, students can be asked to consider the misleading role the media often plays in this process, and how the scientific community can respond.

To fully understand the power of denial in the face of evidence, we need not look further than the current debate over climate change as a destructive and man-made phenomenon. This is a hypothesis backed by the vast majority of scientists worldwide, yet corporations, governments and the media are denying the need for immediate action.