American Public Gardens Association
2019 Conference
Washington D.C. June 17-21, 2019

Communicating Science in a Fake News World
Event Type: 
Session
Track: 
Education and Communication
Date / Time: 
Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Location: 
Ambassador Ballroom
Presenter: 
J. Downing, Mt. Cuba Center, Hockessin, Delaware; A. Sell, Sasaki Associates, Watertown, Massachusetts; S. Wagner, Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois; A. Padolf, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, Florida; L. McDade, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, California; T. Qiu, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; A. Novy, San Diego Botanic Garden, Encinitas, California
Pre-Registration Required: 
No

In our increasingly tribalized, digitally segregated society, the basic idea of commonly held, generally understood facts has become severely strained. This poses a critical challenge for science educators seeking to convey evidence-based concepts to increasingly skeptical audiences. When addressing polarizing topics like climate change or GMO’s, we need to be mindful of the emotional responses our language can engender. Consider plant blindness, an evocative turn of phrase that refers to a perceived disconnect between people and plants. This panel discussion explores strategies and challenges in effectively interpreting science today, using the 'plant blindness' concept as a springboard to a broader conversation to enable participants to think critically about word choices and make smart informed choices.