Daniel Kahneman on the Trap of 'Thinking That We Know'
The National Academy of Sciences did a great service to science early this week by holding a conference on "The Science of Science Communication." A centerpiece of the two-day meeting was a lecture titled "Thinking That We Know," delivered by Daniel Kahneman, the extraordinary behavioral scientist who was awarded a Nobel Prize in economics despite never having taken an economics class.
The talk is extraordinary for the clarity (and humor) with which he repeatedly illustrates the powerful ways in which the mind filters and shapes what we call information. He discusses how this relates to the challenge of communicating science in a way that might stick.
Please carve out the time to watch his slide-free, but image-rich, talk. It's a shorthand route to some of the insights described in Kahneman's remarkable book, "Thinking, Fast and Slow" (I'm a third of the way through).
Here's the video of the talk (which is "below the fold" because it's set up to play automatically):
As I noted via Twitter during the meeting, this talk and many other engaging presentations at the event illustrate the importance of adding a fresh facet to the popular notion that today's citizens, and particularly students, would do well to improve their capacity for critical thinking:
"Critical thinking has to include assessing one's own thinking."
There's more on the meeting at the Age of Engagement blog of Matthew Nisbet of American University, one of the presenters. And review Twitter traffic using the #Sackler tag set up for the conference.
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