My personal mission is to make people aware of the power of rationality to create a wiser and more just society. I further like to split it into the following micro-missions:
- The promotion of new standards for scientific communication
- Showing how social complexity is a better lens for social change
- The study of what makes people think rationally
Scientific communication for better thinking
Scientific communication developed immensely in recent years. Using the latest trends in communication science videos and podcasts become extremely fascinating, mesmerizing a wide audience.
Unfortunately, this process did not bring only good results for humanity. Indeed, while the visual and narrative quality improved immensely, the scientific quality dropped.
Currently, several videos are almost a collection of fascinating images and intriguing terminology without an underlying meaning. Others prefer to completely avoid speaking about the real phenomena and only present a collection of incoherent metaphors. Finally, some want to amaze the audience about the amazing possibility of science that they trick them to believe in para scientific theories. (E.g. see this article on misleading terminology complexity theory).
The main problem of this approach is that people consume this material thinking that they are learning science. But instead of learning to think critically, to process new information and understand, they learn to have faith in scientists. Instead of learning scientific thinking, they learn magical thinking. Of course, online you can find also really high-quality content, but people are not able to distinguish between them.
My goal is to make people aware of this problem and encourage diffusion non-magical content. Content that is engaging and outstanding and, at the same time, meaningful.
Social complexity for social change
Our society has evolved also thanks to the pressure for social change. People felt that some laws or behaviors were unjust and they fought for a better society. And many people are still fighting for it.
While all of this sounds amazing and inspiring, there is also some danger to be considered. Indeed, people fight what they believe to be wrong. And they know what is right or wrong thanks to the way they see the world; the model they use to interpret society.
Unfortunately, when models reach millions of people are usually highly simplified. And one of the biggest simplifications is the presence of the enemy. “The enemy is the bourgeoisie,” “the enemies are the big companies,” “the enemies are the immigrants,” and so on.
Simplified models cannot understand the complexity of our world. Instead, they look for basic solutions which usually result in fighting other people. This, makes things even worse, as those people (obviously) fight back. So, instead of solving the problem, we risk getting stuck in a war between groups.
My goal is to make people aware of the complexity of social systems. To inform about our interconnected world and that we cannot solve our problems just by killing the evil overlord. Instead, we need to look at the big picture and find a solution which will make all of us move together towards a better society.
While the previous points are more oriented to the communication side, a big part of my plan regards scientific inquiry. Indeed, as a researcher, I am studying what makes people adhere to rational thinking and behavior. What makes fake news proliferate and what can we do to effectively push people to think more and better.