CORVALLIS, Ore. – The reasons policymakers decline to take science into account when making decisions that affect the general population will be the topic of the Oregon State University Science Pub on Feb. 8.

The virtual event, a joint effort of Oregon State University in Corvallis and OSU-Cascades in Bend, will feature a talk by two Oregon State professors: Erika Allen Wolters, assistant professor of political science and associate director of the Public Policy Undergraduate Program; and Brent Steel, professor and director of the Public Policy Graduate Program.

In their talk, “When Ideology Trumps Science: Why We Question the Experts on Everything from Climate Change to Vaccinations,” Wolters and Steel will use examples from policy debates on issues such as climate change, immunization and stem cell research.

Their research identifies the propensity of liberals and conservatives to ignore scientific consensus when it diverges from their ideological positions. During their presentation, they will discuss possible policy-focused approaches for overcoming this divide.

The free Science Pub will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The event will be broadcast on YouTube Live. Registration is required and can be completed at:

Sponsors of Science Pub include the OSU Office of Research, OSU-Cascades in Bend and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Connect Central Oregon, a collaborative program with the OSU-Cascades Innovation Co-Lab, will produce the event with student interns.

College of Liberal Arts

About the OSU College of Liberal Arts: The College of Liberal Arts encompasses seven distinct schools, as well as several interdisciplinary initiatives, that focus on humanities, social sciences, and fine and performing arts. Curriculum developed by the college’s nationally and internationally-renowned faculty prepares students to approach the complex problems of the world ethically and thoughtfully, contributing to a student's academic foundation and helping to build real-world skills for a 21st century career and a purposeful life.

Story By: 

Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787, [email protected]


Erika Allen Wolters, [email protected]; Brent Steel, [email protected]

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