Ira Flatow Presents: Are You Sure? Science, Communication and Uncertainty

Event Date: 

Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Campbell Hall
  • UC Santa Barbara campus

Event Price: 


Event Contact: 

Ronald E., Rice, Arthur N. Rupe Professor in the Social Effects of Mass Communication, Department of Communication, 805-803-8696,

Are You Sure? Science, Communication and Uncertainty: Evening Presentation

Ira Flatow
Campbell Hall, UC Santa Barbara Campus
Thursday, May 4th, 2017
7:30 – 9:00 pm

This evening presentation, free to the public, is co-sponsored by the Arthur N. Rupe Chair in the Social Effects of Mass Communication in the Department of Communication. For full details, see  For the UCSB Current press release, click here.

Award winning science correspondent and TV journalist Ira Flatow is the host of Science Friday®, heard weekly on PRI, Public Radio International, and online. Most people do not understand the process of science or what scientists do. They expect science to provide them with black and white solutions when in fact science many times comes up with appear to be ambiguous answers: uncertainty.  But this is well-informed uncertainty, often accurate within likely ranges. This disconnect leads to many false assumptions about what to expect from science and scientists. And it makes it difficult for the media to communicate that uncertainty to a public that expects science to "know everything." On top of that challenge, religious and political factors also influence the public's understanding of science. In his presentation, Ira Flatow will explore these challenges and efforts to explain the uncertainty that scientists welcome but the public finds bewildering. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session from the audience.

Download a .pdf poster here.