"I knew, and know still, that there is good science and bad science, misinformation and reliable information, truth and falsehood, and also much grey in between . . . But being more adamant, more right, having more facts, was not helping. It was possibly even the problem.
Today it seems that conspiracy and rumour spread faster than ever and are increasingly hard to debunk. How do we convincingly explain the difference between good information and misinformation?
A Matter of Fact explores the science of communicating and presents innovative ways to talk effectively (and empathetically) about contentious information. It is both an informative guide to constructive communication and a passionate reminder of the importance of finding what matters to all of us.
Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw is a New Zealand researcher, writer and communicator with an interest in how we build public and political support for more inclusive and evidence-based policy. Her current work focuses on the role of values and beliefs in the development and implementation of inclusive public policy.
Jess was awarded a PhD in Health Psychology from Victoria University in 2003 and has worked in the UK and New Zealand applying evidence to achieving equity in a variety of settings. She reviewed maternal and perinatal deaths at the Confidential Inquiry of Maternal Health in the UK and led the research team at the New Zealand Guidelines Group for some years. Her work spans the spectrum of health, wellbeing, social care and economics policy.
In 2017 Jess published Pennies from Heaven, a book that investigates the most effective policy actions for moving families and children out of poverty. She is co-director of the not-for-profit research and policy organisation The Workshop, and a research associate at the Public Policy Institute at the University of Auckland.