A Modest Proposal

To engage people on issues like climate change, vaccines or GMOs, scientists might look to Swift, Voltaire or Jon Stewart.

That’s what Guillaume Chapron and 3 co-authors did in their climate change warning to Earth, telling the planet to change its ways. Their approach, Chapron hoped, would move people in a way that data alone cannot.

Some recent studies support that premise: A John Oliver segment and a video from The Onion convinced participants of the urgency of climate change more than control videos did. Making science a laughing matter, it turns out, can convince people of its seriousness.

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