Use Humor (and Facts) to Counter Pseudoscience

I’m often asked by my colleagues why science professionals should use video to share their work. My response is that video is one of the most effective and popular ways to share information today. If you want to share your science, you need to adopt modern means. Video has become the most crowd-pleasing way to reach an audience, especially a global audience. So much so, that science skeptics and people pushing pseudoscience theories have enthusiastically adopted the medium of video to spread their beliefs. And, some of them have gotten really good at it. To effectively counter videos that promote, for example, the idea that the earth is flat, that vaccines cause autism, or that NASA faked the moon landing, there must be equally compelling videos that debunk these blatantly false ideas (I’m not providing links because I don’t want to promote any of these fake science sites; you can find multiple videos supporting such theories on YouTube….or you can just take my word for it).

I should hasten to add that not everyone is cut out to be a debunker of pseudoscience, and I’m not recommending that the average scientist attempt it. However, there are science organizations, science professionals, and knowledgeable laypeople who try to set the record straight. Some use just the facts. Some use humor. Some use the original research published in the scientific literature. All use video to deliver their death blows to the purveyors of fake science.

Below are three examples that take one of these approaches.