Cognitive science combines ideas and methods from multiple fields to address important questions about thinking and behavior. Climate change raises psychological questions that require interdisciplinary answers. Why do almost all scientists believe that global warming is caused by human activities and that serious actions must be taken to slow it? Why do some powerful politicians and others deny that climate change is a problem? How can climate change deniers be convinced that global warming should be addressed? Why do many people who believe that climate change is serious nevertheless do little about it? Why do leaders and ordinary people make bad decisions about climate change and how can their decisions be improved? These questions can be answered by combining psychological research with neuroscience, computer modeling, and philosophy.
Paul Thagard is a Canadian philosopher and cognitive scientist who has published many interdisciplinary books. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Cognitive Science Society, and the Association for Psychological Science. His books include: The Cognitive Science of Science: Explanation, Discovery, and Conceptual Change (MIT Press, 2012) and The Brain and the Meaning of Life((Princeton University Press, 2010). Oxford University Press published his 3-book Treatise on Mind and Society in 2019. In October, 2021, MIT Press will publish his Bots & Beasts: What Makes Machines, Animals, and People Smart? He is currently writing about balance.
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