EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Giving Facts a fighting chance against misinformation

Bärbel Winkler1 and John Cook1,2
Bärbel Winkler and John Cook
  • 1Skeptical Science, (
  • 2Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub, Monash University, Victoria, Australia (

Skeptical Science is a volunteer-run website publishing refutations of climate misinformation. Some members of the Skeptical Science team actively research best-practices refutation techniques while other team members use the provided materials to share debunking techniques effectively either in writing or through presentations. In this submission, we highlight several of our publications and projects, designed to help to give facts a fighting chance against misinformation. While some of the resources are nominally related to climate change, the underlying techniques apply across different topics. Resources include the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “Denial101x - Making sense of Climate Science Denial” co-produced with the University of Queensland in 2015, the “FLICC-framework” explaining the taxonomy of science denial with its five main techniques (fake experts, logical fallacies, impossible expectations, cherry picking, and conspiracy theories), the Debunking Handbook 2020 which summarizes research findings and expert advice about debunking misinformation, and the Conspiracy Theory Handbook distilling research findings and expert advice on dealing with conspiracy theories. We will also introduce the Cranky Uncle smartphone game, using critical thinking, gamification, and cartoons to interactively explain science denial techniques and build resilience against misinformation.

How to cite: Winkler, B. and Cook, J.: Giving Facts a fighting chance against misinformation, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-337,, 2021.