A short essay by Kari Fischer from the New York Academy of Sciences, in The Scientist: “Opinion: What You Believe about “Science Denial” May Be All Wrong”.
Scientists should receive more institutional support, training, and career incentives to engage in proactive communication with the public. And when we do speak out, we must remember that we represent not only ourselves, but our institutions, and science as a whole. We should resist the temptation to engage with trolls, or become them ourselves by berating “non-believers.” Ridicule will not foster trust.
Obviously I’m more familiar with my corner of science than with others. Anthropologists in the U.S. live in a bubble. Few listen to non-academic voices, or engage the public in a way that has any direct effect on their research agenda.
These kinds of academic meetings encouraging better methods of speaking to the public have some value. But what is really needed is a wholesale change to the incentive and reward system in science and academia.