This is a guest post by Mira
There are four new science columnists at The Guardian, one of whom is anomalistic psychology academic Professor Chris French. In this Channel 4 documentary about conspiracy theories he conducts a small-scale study of conspiracy beliefs and then pursues reasonable discussion about the findings with David Icke on a windswept beach.
I’m sure even this will be surpassed. His first column is about the resurgence of modern scepticism:
Whatever factors may have combined in sociologically interesting ways to produce the rise of modern scepticism, it is to be welcomed. It is not just about giving previously isolated geeks a sense of community, it is about promoting critical thinking as widely as possible throughout society. We live in an age where companies advertise products on the basis of fake science, alternative therapists sell pseudoscientific and unproven treatments to uninformed consumers and, arguably, human greed and irrationality has brought the world to the brink of environmental and financial disaster. Not only that, but alienated religious fanatics yearn for nothing more than the death of as many non-believers as possible in their quest for personal martyrdom. Have we ever needed critical thinking more?”