Science communication often assumes a deficit model in which people's negative attitudes towards science are explained as resulting from a lack of scientific knowledge. But can knowing a little bit about science actually be associated with holding attitudes that are less, not more, positive towards science? In this talk, we present evidence that it is not the truly ignorant, but those who have a little knowledge, who a) think they know more than they do and b) have the least positive attitudes towards science. Our results suggest, among other things, the importance of not oversimplifying knowledge when communicating science and of cultivating humility.
Paulo Brás, Paulo Silva, Jaime Silva