"Every disaster movie seems to open with a scientist being ignored. “Don’t Look
Up” is no exception – in fact, people ignoring or flat out denying scientific
evidence is the point.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence play astronomers who make a literally
Earth-shattering discovery and then try to persuade the president to take
action to save humanity. It’s a satire that explores how individuals,
scientists, the media and politicians respond when faced with scientific facts
that are uncomfortable, threatening and inconvenient.
The movie is an allegory for climate change, showing how those with the power
to do something about global warming willfully avoid taking action and how
those with vested interests can mislead the public. But it also reflects
science denial more broadly, including what the world has been seeing with
The most important difference between the film’s premise and humanity’s actual
looming crisis is that while individuals may be powerless against a comet,
everyone can act decisively to stop fueling climate change.
Knowing the myths that feed science denial can help.
As research psychologists and the authors of “Science Denial: Why It Happens
and What to Do About It”, we recognize these aspects of science denial all too
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics