Public debates driven by incomplete scientific data: The cases of evolution theory, global warming and H1N1 pandemic influenza
Public debates driven by incomplete scientific data: The cases of evolution theory, global warming and H1N1 pandemic influenza
By Serge Galam
Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications (2010)
Abstract Paper

Matthias  Pécot

LEO, Université d'Orléans

France

Coder Page  

This program simulates the evolution of an opinion in a population, as explained in the paper. In a given population of p individuals, with "a" percent inflexible people of opinion A, "b" percent inflexible people of opinion B, "pt" percent people of opinion A, we iterate the following 3 steps "n" times : - we choose randomly s, a random number s between [3, "l"] - we randomly form a group of s individuals from the population - we change (or not) the opinion of these individuals according to the rules from the paper
Created
October 01, 2013
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C++ 4.1.2
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October 15, 2013
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Abstract
Public debates driven by incomplete scientific data where nobody can claim absolute certainty, due to the current state of scientific knowledge, are studied. The cases of evolution theory, global warming and H1N1 pandemic influenza are investigated. The first two are of controversial impact while the third is more neutral and resolved. To adopt a cautious balanced attitude based on clear but inconclusive data appears to be a lose-out strategy. In contrast overstating arguments with incorrect claims which cannot be scientifically refuted appears to be necessary but not sufficient to eventually win a public debate. The underlying key mechanisms of these puzzling and unfortunate conclusions are identified using the Galam sequential probabilistic model of opinion dynamics (Galam, 2002 [4], Galam, 2005 [18], Galam and Jacobs, 2007 [19]). It reveals that the existence of inflexible agents and their respective proportions are the instrumental parameters to determine the faith of incomplete scientific data in public debates. Acting on one’s own inflexible proportion modifies the topology of the flow diagram, which in turn can make irrelevant initial supports. On the contrary focusing on open-minded agents may be useless given some topologies. When the evidence is not as strong as claimed, the inflexibles rather than the data are found to drive the opinion of the population. The results shed a new but disturbing light on designing adequate strategies to win a public debate.
Galam, S., "Public debates driven by incomplete scientific data: The cases of evolution theory, global warming and H1N1 pandemic influenza", Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications , 389, 3619-3631.
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Please cite the publication as :

Galam, S., "Public debates driven by incomplete scientific data: The cases of evolution theory, global warming and H1N1 pandemic influenza", Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications , 389, 3619-3631.

Please cite the companion website as :

Galam, S., "Public debates driven by incomplete scientific data: The cases of evolution theory, global warming and H1N1 pandemic influenza", RunMyCode companion website, http://www.execandshare.org/CompanionSite/Site363

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Variable/Parameters Description, constraint Comments
p0
    The initial global proportion of opinion A
    a
      The proportion of inflexible agents of opinion A
      b
        The proportion of inflexible agent of opinion B
        n
          The number of groups of discussion
          l
            the maximum size of a discussion group (during the simulation, each group is created with a size between 3 and l).
            Variable/Parameters Description Visualisation
            p0
            a
            b
            n
            l
            Public debates driven by incomplete scientific data: The cases of evolution theory, global warming and H1N1 pandemic influenza
            M. Pécot (2013)
            Computing Date Status Actions
            Coder:
            • Matthias Pécot

              LEO, Université d'Orléans

              France

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