Talking About Science

One of our primary goals at Lightning Science is to counter the misinformation that frequently appears in Social Media. We provide a wide range of articles and graphics that can be shared on social media sites, or posted in response to erroneous information.

Psychological studies have shown that simply presenting facts is not an effective way to change minds. People have a strong emotional response when their beliefs are challenged, so it’s essential to use emotional connections and social connections in order to gain trust and acceptance.

When engaging people on social media, please remember the following principles:

  • Be courteous!  No name-calling or condescending language.
  • Use language that relates to the other person’s concerns.  For example, if someone opposes vaccinations, you might say “Yes, it’s certainly important to make the best decisions where our kids’ safety is concerned.”
  • Invite the other person to consider the information posted on this site, and others, in an open-minded way.  For example, “I’ve spent a lot of time researching this, and I’ve found this site to be very helpful. You might be interested in reading it as well.”
  • Extend a social invitation.  For example, “I’d be happy to discuss this further, or you can sign up for the online community at LightningScience.com (or other sites that encourage scientific discussion).”
  • Avoid confrontation and argument.  When you argue, the other person becomes defensive and less open to different ideas.
  • Don’t be afraid to share your excitement!  Science and learning are fun!

Recommended Reading

  1. Cialdini, Robert B. (2006). Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Harper Business Press.
  2. Granger, Russell (2007). The 7 Triggers to Yes: The New Science Behind Influencing People’s Decisions. McGraw-Hill Education.