This event will be online, on the Skeptics in the Pub Twitch channel.
For years scientists and scholars have been warning us of the danger of denialism: Holocaust denial, global warming denial, anti-vaxxers, 911 conspiracism, creationism and more. Debunking denialist claims is essential – yet also rarely effective. We are now living in a world where even the most apparently basic truths are routinely contested. It might seem that 2020 saw an unprecedented upsurge in denialism, with denials of the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic and denials of Trump’s election loss, becoming mainstream in some quarters. Yet in this talk, Keith Kahn-Harris, author of Denial: The Unspeakable Truth, will argue that we are now seeing both the triumph of denialism and its end. Dr Kahn-Harris argues that denialism emerges when one’s deepest desires are ‘unspeakable’. Increasingly though, we are seeing denialism superseded by the open acknowledgement of desire. So in thinking about denialism, we also have to consider whether a world without it might not be a truth-filled utopia, but something even worse.
Dr Keith Kahn-Harris is a sociologist and writer. Denial: The Unspeakable Truth was his fifth book. His badly-designed website can be found at kahn-harris.org and he tweets irregularly as @KeithKahnHarris.
This event is being run by Skeptics in the Pub Online, a coalition of UK-based Skeptics groups. Formed as the Covid-19 epidemic brought our country to a standstill, we are working to deliver high quality online events focussing on science, reason, and critical thinking.