Welcome and Introduction
Science writer par excellence Deborah Blum of UW-M welcomed the audience at the event's start and introduced some of those making it possible. University chancellor David Ward considered the tensions between science and irrationality, modernity and anti-modernity, inclusive pluralism vs. ideological pluralization.
David Krakauer, the head of the relatively new Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (the venue for the day's discussions), then pointed out that all of us engage in our own forms of denial. For example, journalists covering the denial of climate warming et al. fooled themselves into thinking that they could change public opinion. For decades, Krakauer noted, popular films had carried the message that we ignore scientists' warnings at our peril, yet the public still had this distrust of scientists.