The Guardian

Why people believe the Earth is flat and we should listen to anti-vaxxers | Elfy Scott

Science communication has lost its sense of empathy and misunderstands how fear can alter a person’s belief system
‘Personally, I occasionally find the news cycle so overwhelmed by political and societal madness that I’d rather like to put on a tin foil hat and relax on my sofa with the idea that things are only bad right now because the lizard people are doing a poor job of running the show.’ Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

The internet, as we are all patently aware by this point, is awash with some incredible nonsense. In recent years, some of that nonsense has managed to gain a disturbing amount of traction: the anti-vaxxer movement, a religious belief in alternative medicine, the flat Earth theory, and even astrology have all experienced a tremendous surge of interest and support in online spheres.

Inevitably, this means that these belief systems have become all the more apparent in our real-world social interactions and sometimes it takes

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