| Erfurt Laboratory for Empirical Research, Erziehungswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Institute for Planetary Health Behaviour, SPF Bildung. Schule. Verhalten., Forschung

New Publication: Science matters!

How does science really think and work? Tilman Betsch, Professor of Social, Organizational and Economic Psychology at the University of Erfurt, addresses this question in his new publication "Science matters! Wissenschaftlich statt querdenken" (Scientific instead of lateral thinking), which has just been published by Springer. By means of comprehensible, entertaining juxtapositions of errors and facts, he presents a plea against lateral thinking and conspiracy theories.

In view of global challenges such as COVID-19, climate change, etc., the question of what science is and does is increasingly being discussed anew. In the process, an increase in resistance to scientific methods on the part of so-called lateral thinkers, conspiracy theorists and fact deniers can also be observed. But many criticize science without having understood the core of scientific thinking and work, knows Professor Tilmann Betsch. "In preparation for this book, my employees and I conducted a representative study in Germany in 2021," explains the psychologist. "It came out that between 30 and 50 percent of the participants harbor assumptions about science that are incompatible with the method of scientific thinking. For example, science is a process, not a collection of ultimate certainties. All knowledge is provisional and science, unlike religion, does not claim absolutes. However, more than one-third of the participants in our study believed that findings that are not certain to be correct are of no use at all. Fifty percent of respondents were also convinced that the findings of scientific research were no more reliable than their own subjective experience. And about one-third basically trusted their gut feeling and their own experience more than scientific findings and the statements of experts."

The results of the study showed Betsch's team that there is a need for education. This clarification is what "Science matters! Wissenschaftlich statt querdenken" wants to do. Using clear examples and anecdotes, Tilmann Betsch describes the components of the scientific toolbox. Each chapter clarifies a common prejudice against science and shows which methods are really used to gain knowledge in research. In this way, the book explains in an understandable way why science is indispensable.

[Translate to English:] Cover Science matters!

Tilmann Betsch
"Science matters! Wissenschaftlich statt querdenken"
Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2022
ISBN (printed issue): 978-3-662-65421-7
ISBN (eBook): 978-3-662-65422-4
341 pages
19,99 EUR (printed issue)
14,99 EUR (eBook)