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The Sciences

Branding skepticism

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitJanuary 3, 2010 7:08 PM

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Steve Cuno is a skeptic as well as man who knows his marketing -- he's a professional. He's spoken at two TAMs, both times about how better to market and brand skepticism. His points have hit home with me, because what he says about how we behave as skeptics is something I have seen countless times to be true. He thinks -- and I agree -- that we need to be more positive about what we know to be true. Instead of only saying "the antivax movement is baloney," (which we know to be a correct statement) we need to promote actual medicine and talk about why vaccinations are important. I try to do that here on the blog, because I know full well how skeptics are seen outside our own circles: naysayers, pointy-headed ivory tower academics, and so on. By being positive, we promote ourselves much better to the public. Steve Cuno wrote an article for the JREF's Swift blog which has many excellent points about how we as skeptics need to think about ourselves and our behavior. I think everyone who has ever sat next to an astrology buff at a dinner party or written anything on the web dealing with skeptical topics should read what Steve wrote, and pay attention to it. We could do a lot worse than to follow the lead he's laid out.

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