Special report: Living in denial

New Scientist: Special report: Living in denial:

(Image: Woods Wheatcroft)


From climate change to vaccines, evolution to flu, denialists are on the march. Why are so many people refusing to accept what the evidence is telling them?

In this special feature we look at the phenomenon in depth. What is denial? What attracts people to it? How does it start, and how does it spread? And finally, how should we respond to it?


When a sceptic isn’t a sceptic

(Image: Joseph Eid / AFP / Getty Images)

There are clear lines between scepticism and denial, but telling them apart can be tricky in the real world, says Michael Shermer. Read more


Why sensible people reject the truth

Good story, shame about the evidence (Image: Chris  Casciano)

Denialism satisfies deep emotional needs. That makes it easy to encourage and hard to counter, says Debora MacKenzie. Read more


How corporations manufacture doubt

Producing a smokescreen (Image: Andrei Pungovschi / AP /  PA)

If the truth is inconvenient, put up a smokescreen instead. It works wonders for big business, argues Richard Littlemore. Read more


Unleashing a lie

Think diseases spread fast? Lies are faster (Image:  Saturn Stills / SPL)

It’s easy to send a lie flying around the world, and almost impossible to shoot it down, says Jim Giles. Read more


Questioning science isn’t blasphemy

Is "denier" just another insult? (Image: Rodger  Bosch / AFP / Getty)

Michael Fitzpatrick argues that calling an opponent a denier is illiberal, intolerant and ineffective. Read more


The truth is our only weapon

How should we deal with denialists? (Image: Francis  Miller / Contributor)

We must let denialists be heard, and respond with patience, vigilance and tireless rebuttal, says Michael Shermer. Read more

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