Transcript: Can the Left be Anti-Science? | Jul 15, 2021

An animated slate reads "The Agenda in the Summer."

A female announcer says THE AGENDA IN THE SUMMER WITH NAM KIWANUKA IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH GENEROUS PHILANTHROPIC CONTRIBUTIONS FROM VIEWERS LIKE YOU. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING TVO'S JOURNALISM.

Nam stands in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length straight brown hair. She's wearing glasses, a blue blazer over a black shirt, and a golden pendant necklace.

A wall screen behind her reads "The Agenda in the Summer."

Nam says BEING SKEPTICAL IS HEALTHY AND FUELS A LOT OF PRODUCTIVE SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY. I'M NAM KIWANUKA. AS WE'VE SEEN FROM EARLIER CONVERSATIONS THIS WEEK, IT CAN ALSO DRIVE DUBIOUS CLAIMS. TONIGHT, HOW POLITICS, ACROSS THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM, CAN LEAD US DOWN SUCH A PATH.

Music plays as an animated slate reads "The Agenda in the Summer."

Nam says THERE HAS BEEN A LONG-TIME ANTI-SCIENCE MOVEMENT IN RIGHT WING IDEOLOGY, BUT WHAT ABOUT ON THE LEFT? IN THIS CONVERSATION FROM 2013 WE ASKED IF POLITICAL IDEOLOGY PLAYS A ROLE IN THE TYPES OF SCIENCE BIASES YOU HOLD. THERE ARE SEVERAL REFERENCES TO THE TEA PARTY, WHICH WAS A RIGHT-WING CONTINGENT WITHIN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AT THE TIME THAT MANY BELIEVE HELPED SET THE STAGE FOR DONALD TRUMP WINNING THE ELECTION IN 2016. ISSUES DISCUSSED BY THE PANEL, SUCH AS GMOS, GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS, ARE STILL BEING DEBATED TODAY. AND, AMID COVID-19, THE QUESTION OF VACCINE HESITANCY IN PARTICULAR HAS BECOME AN URGENT ISSUE. SINCE THIS AIRED, MICHAEL SHERMER HAS WRITTEN FIVE MORE BOOKS, MARK LYNAS IS STILL AN ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST, AND HAS WRITTEN THREE BOOKS, AND CHRIS MOONEY NOW WRITES FOR THE WASHINGTON POST, AND WON A PULITZER PRIZE IN 2020. HERE'S THAT CONVERSATION.

An animated slate reads "The Agenda in the Summer."

In a clip, Steve sits in the studio. He's in his forties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a black suit, blue shirt and striped golden tie.

A wall screen behind him reads "The Agenda. With Steve Paikin."

Steve says VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM. WIND ENERGY IS CAUSING CANCER. RIGHT-WING WACKOS? WELL, OUR NEXT GUEST SAYS THESE SENTIMENTS ARE ALIVE AND WELL ON THE LEFT AS WELL. JOINING US NOW IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, HERE'S MICHAEL SHERMER. HE'S PUBLISHER OF SKEPTIC MAGAZINE AND A COLUMNIST FOR SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN.

Michael appears on screen smiling. He's in his fifties, clean-shaven, with receding gray hair. He's wearing a black suit and a white open-necked shirt.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "The anti-science left. Theagenda.tvo.org."

Steve continues MICHAEL, IT'S GOOD TO WELCOME YOU TO THE PROGRAM, AND IN DOING SO, I WANT TO JUST START BY READING AN EXCERPT OF SOMETHING FROM A PUBLICATION CALLED SCIENCE LEFT BEHIND WRITTEN BY ALEX BEREZOW AND HANK CAMPBELL AND IT GOES LIKE THIS...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Everything natural is good." The quote reads "By the modern era, super rationalist progressives who once had held an almost religious belief in the power of science to create a utopian future had now largely left science behind. Lacking an emphasis on objective fact, and focused primarily on legislating ideology and fighting anything that disagreed with cherished ideas, progressives became as we know them today: unscientific, while claiming the mantle of modernity, denizens of a world where science is replaced by feel-good fallacies." Quote by Alex B. Berezov and Hank Campbell, "Science Left Behind." 2012.

Steve says LET'S GET INTO THIS. HOW EXACTLY ARE PROGRESSIVES, OR THOSE ON THE LEFT, UNSCIENTIFIC IN THEIR IDEOLOGY?

Steve and Michael appear on split screens, with the caption "The Anti-Science Left. It's not nice to fool mother nature." A caption under Michael's frame reads "Los Angeles." Then, the caption changes to "Michael Shermer. Skeptic Magazine. Author, 'The believing brain.'"

Michael says RIGHT. WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I WROTE THAT COLUMN BASED ON THAT BOOK IN SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN LARGELY BECAUSE FOR THE PAST 10 YEARS OR SO I'VE BEEN POUNDING ON REPUBLICANS PRETTY HARD ON THEIR ANTI-SCIENCE ATTITUDES, PARTICULARLY AGAINST THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION AND GLOBAL WARMING AND I GOT A LOT OF MAIL, YOU KNOW, SAYING, "HEY, WHAT ABOUT, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE? THEY CAN BE ANTI-SCIENTIFIC.

The caption changes to "Originally aired February 26, 2013."

Michael continues SO, PEOPLE WERE SENDING ME LOTS OF EXAMPLES, AND WHEN I SAW THIS BOOK, I THOUGHT, "YEAH, I SHOULD TRY TO BE A LITTLE FAIRER HERE AND, YOU KNOW, DISH IT OUT TO THE OTHER SIDE AS WELL, BECAUSE NOBODY HAS A MONOPOLY ON TRUTH AND NOBODY'S FREE OF POLITICAL BIAS FOR SURE, INCLUDING MYSELF. SO, IT'S GOOD TO, I THINK, JUST SORT OF SPREAD THE SKEPTICISM AROUND, AND IN PARTICULAR, I WOULD AGREE WITH THAT SENTIMENT YOU JUST READ THERE FROM THE BOOK AND JUST SORT OF LOOK AT THE LARGER PICTURE, THAT, LIKE, IN THAT VERY ISSUE OF EVOLUTION, FOR EXAMPLE, THERE ARE OF COURSE CREATIONISTS ON THE ONE SIDE, ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE WHO DON'T BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION AT ALL, BUT ON THE OTHER SIDE, THERE'S WHAT I CALL COGNITIVE CREATIONISTS, THAT IS PEOPLE WHO DON'T BELIEVE THAT EVOLUTION APPLIES FROM THE NECK UP. THAT IS, THEY PRETTY MUCH THINK THAT THE MIND IS A BLANK SLATE, ALMOST ENTIRELY CONSTRUCTED BY CULTURE, BY THE ENVIRONMENT, AND THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE. THESE EVOLUTION WARS ABOUT THE MIND HAVE BEEN FOUGHT OUT OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS. IN FACT, IT WAS OVER ALMOST A CENTURY AND A HALF SINCE DARWIN PUBLISHED THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES THAT IT WAS ACTUALLY ACCEPTABLE TO CLAIM THAT THE HUMAN BRAIN EVOLVED JUST LIKE THE REST OF THE HUMAN BODY AND THAT THE BRAIN IS AN ORGAN IS LIKE ANY OTHER ORGAN IN THE BODY, IT EVOLVED FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE TO SOLVE PROBLEMS IN THE ANCESTRAL ENVIRONMENT. THAT WAS CONTROVERSIAL ALL THE WAY UP UNTIL JUST RECENTLY. IN FACT IT'S STILL KIND OF CONTROVERSIAL. SO, THAT IDEA, THE BLANK SLATE, I CONSIDER THAT TO BE LARGELY AN ANTI-SCIENCE ATTITUDE AND THAT ATTITUDE IS ALMOST ENTIRELY HELD BY PEOPLE ON THE LEFT. NOW, I WANT TO MAKE ANOTHER IMPORTANT POINT, THAT WHEN PEOPLE ATTACK REPUBLICANS, REALLY WHAT THEY'RE ATTACKING IS PEOPLE ON THE FAR RIGHT BECAUSE MOST REPUBLICANS ACCEPT MOST OF SCIENCE. IT'S THE EXTREMISTS ON THE RIGHT. AND ON THE LEFT, MOST PEOPLE ON THE LEFT ACCEPT MOST OF SCIENCE. WHAT WE'RE MOSTLY TALKING ABOUT HERE IS THE EXTREME LEFT OR WHAT ARE CALLED PROGRESSIVES, ROUGHLY SPEAKING. SO, I THINK IT'S GOOD TO IDENTIFY THAT, BECAUSE, IN FACT, AS I SHOWED IN MY COLUMN, YOU KNOW, 41 percent OF DEMOCRATS DON'T ACCEPT EVOLUTION, SO, AND 19 percent ALMOST... THIS IS A RECENT GALLUP POLL, 19 percent OF DEMOCRATS DON'T ACCEPT GLOBAL WARMING AS REAL AND CAUSED BY HUMANS. THAT'S ALMOST ONE OUT OF FIVE. SO, IF LIBERALS ARE THE SO-CALLED PEOPLE OF THE SCIENCE BOOK, YOU KNOW, THOSE NUMBERS ARE NOT ESPECIALLY ENCOURAGING. SO, I THINK IT'S GOOD TO BE FAIR, TO LOOK AT THE POLITICAL BIAS ON BOTH THE LEFT AND THE RIGHT.

Steve says FAIR ENOUGH, AND WE ACTUALLY HAVE A CHART WHICH EMPHASIZES A LITTLE MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU JUST SAID AND, CONTROL ROOM, LET'S BRING THIS UP, IF WE CAN.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Views on climate change and evolution." It displays a bar chart that shows that 81 percent of democrats think the Earth is getting warmer against 49 percent of republicans and 41 percent of tea party members and 69 percent of the general public.

Steve continues THESE ARE THE VIEWS OF... AS YOU CAN SEE WE'VE BROKEN THEM INTO FOUR DIFFERENT GROUPS. MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC, DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS, AND THEN THE TEA PARTY, THAT EXTRA-SPECIAL FEATURE OF AMERICAN POLITICAL LIFE THESE DAYS, AND HERE ARE THEIR REVIEWS AS REFLECTED BY THE RED AND BLUE BARS ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND EVOLUTION.

The bar chart adds blue bars showing how the different groups agree with the idea that humans have evolved: 57 percent of the general public, 64 percent of democrats, 45 percent of republicans and 43 percent of tea party members.

Steve continues AND YOU CAN SEE MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC, 69 percent BELIEVE THE EARTH IS GETTING WARMER. ONLY 57 percent BELIEVING HUMANS HAVE EVOLVED. 81 percent OF DEMOCRATS SAY THE EARTH IS GETTING WARMER. 64 percent SAY HUMANS HAVE EVOLVED. 49 percent OF REPUBLICANS, SHOWING THE SKEPTICISM ON CLIMATE CHANGE HERE, BELIEVE THE EARTH IS GETTING WARMER. ONLY 45 percent BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION. AND AMONG TEA PARTY TYPES, ONLY 41 percent BELIEVE THAT THE EARTH IS GETTING WARMER AND 43 percent BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION. YOU SEE THE SOURCE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE GRAPHIC THERE. SO, I APPRECIATE YOUR DESIRE TO SORT OF BE AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY CHASTISER, IF YOU LIKE, OF THOSE WHO...

Michael says SKEPTIC.

Steve says YEAH, SKEPTIC. OKAY. THAT'S THE BETTER WORD TO USE PICKING UP ON THE NAME OF THE MAGAZINE. BUT LET'S USE A COUPLE OF OTHER EXAMPLES IF WE CAN. WE TALKED ABOUT VACCINES CAUSING AUTISM OFF THE TOP, WE TALKED ABOUT WIND FARMS CAUSING CANCER, THESE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE HEAR NOWADAYS. GIVE US SOME OTHER EXAMPLES OF THAT FRINGE ON THE PROGRESSIVE LEFT WHOM YOU FIND TO BE AS ANTI-SCIENCE AS THAT FRINGE ON THE FAR RIGHT, IF YOU WILL? RIGHT. LIKE, THE FOLLOWING MOVEMENTS ARE LARGELY LED BY PEOPLE ON THE LEFT OR FAR LEFT, PROGRESSIVES, LET'S SAY. ANTI-VACCINATION, ANTI-FLUORIDATION, ANTI-NUCLEAR, ANTI-COAL, ANTI-NATURAL GAS, ANTI-HYDROELECTRIC, ANTI-WIND, AND ANTI-GMOS, OR GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS. NOW, AGAIN, NOT EVERYBODY IN THE LEFT. JUST AGAIN THESE EXTREME LEFT PROGRESSIVES WHO SEEM TO HAVE MORE INTEREST IN A POLITICAL AGENDA THAT HAS TO DO MORE WITH LIKE RETURNING THE EARTH OR RETURNING HUMANITY TO A NATURAL STATE OF THINGS IN WHICH YOU REALLY HAVE TO DENY A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF SCIENCE SHOWING THAT THESE THINGS ARE ACTUALLY NOT AS BAD AS WHAT PEOPLE ON THE EXTREME LEFT THINK THEY ARE. FOR EXAMPLE, THE ANTI-VACCINATION MOVEMENT, ALMOST NOBODY ON THE RIGHT CHAMPIONED THAT. THAT WAS ALMOST ENTIRELY A FAR LEFT MOVEMENT. THE ANTI-FLUORIDATION. SAME THING. I ALMOST... I'VE MET ALMOST NO... I HAVEN'T MET A SINGLE REPUBLICAN WHO AGREES WITH THAT.

A slate pops up briefly showing the cover of the Skeptic magazine.

Michael continues COAL. OF COURSE, COAL IS BAD FOR THE AIR. BUT WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVES? WELL, OKAY. SO, WIND. OH, NO, WIND IS BAD BECAUSE THE BLADES KILL BIRDS. OKAY, WHAT ABOUT NATURAL GAS? NO, NATURAL GAS IS BAD BECAUSE IT ALSO CONTRIBUTES, IN A SMALLER WAY THAN COAL, BUT STILL TO GLOBAL WARMING. WELL, WHAT ABOUT HYDRO ELECTRIC DAMS? OH, NO, THOSE ARE BAD BECAUSE THEY MESS UP RIVERS AND LAKE ECOSYSTEMS. THAT'S TRUE. AND WHAT ABOUT NUCLEAR? WELL, BECAUSE OF THE NUCLEAR WASTE, AND SO ON. SO, THE QUESTION BECOMES, OKAY, IF YOU COULD MARSHAL DATA TO SHOW ALL THOSE THINGS ARE BAD, WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO? WELL, ON THE VERY FAR LEFT, OF COURSE, THE ANSWER IS, WE SHOULD HAVE FAR LESS PEOPLE, BUT... AND THAT ACTUALLY IS HAPPENING, BUT WE'RE NEVER GOING BACK TO A GLOBE WITH SAY 10 MILLION PEOPLE. YOU KNOW, WE HAVE 7 BILLION. WE'RE NOT GOING BACK. WE MAY GO BACK DOWN TO 6 OR 5 BILLION BY SAY 2150 OR 2200, BUT WE'RE NEVER GOING BACK TO 10 MILLION WHERE WE CAN ALL LIVE OFF THE LAND AND SO FORTH. AND SO I FIND THOSE ATTITUDES... I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU CALL THEM, ANTI-SCIENCE OR ANTI-PROGRESS OR ANTI-HUMAN. THEY'RE ANTI-SOMETHING AND THEY'RE ALMOST ALWAYS LED BY PEOPLE ON THE FAR LEFT.

Steve says SO, IS PART OF THE POINT YOU'RE TRYING TO MAKE TODAY THAT IT IS... THAT THE FAR RIGHT IS GETTING A BIT OF A BAD BREAK FROM MAINSTREAM MEDIA BECAUSE WE TEND TO FOCUS ON... I WANT TO BE CAREFUL WHAT WORD I USE HERE, BUT, YOU KNOW, YOU HEAR THIS EXPRESSION ABOUT THE LOONIE LEFT ALL THE TIME AND THEN WHATEVER THE EQUIVALENT IS ON THE RIGHT. DO WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE SHARE EQUAL DISDAIN FOR THE FAR LEFT AS THE FAR RIGHT?

(CHUCKLING)

Michael says I DON'T THINK WE NEED TO BE DISDAINFUL ON EITHER SIDE. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO PULL BACK AND TAKE A BIGGER PICTURE LOOK AT WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE WHAT THEY BELIEVE. I MEAN, THIS IS WHAT I DO FOR A LIVING. YOU KNOW, I WROTE A BOOK CALLED WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE WEIRD THINGS. I MEAN, THIS IS WHAT I DO. WHY DO PEOPLE BELIEVE THIS OR THAT? AND THEY HAVE REASONS. WE HAVE THIS MORALIZATION GAP BETWEEN THE PEOPLE THAT AGREE WITH US, WHO WE THINK ARE THE GOOD GUYS, THE MORAL PEOPLE, AND THE PEOPLE THAT ARE ON THE OTHER TEAM, THE OTHER SIDE, THE OTHER TRIBE, THAT WE DISAGREE WITH, AND THEY ARE BAD, THEY ARE EVIL. AND BOTH SIDES DO THIS. WE ALL DO THIS, AND IT'S HARD NOT TO DO THAT, AND, SO, THIS IS WHY I LIKE AND I HAVE CITED MANY TIMES JONATHAN HEIGHT'S RESEARCH... I THINK YOU'VE HAD JONATHAN ON THE SHOW BEFORE... ON LOOKING AT THE FIVE MORAL FOUNDATIONS AND HOW LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES DIFFER ON TO WHAT EXTENT THEY EMPHASIZE THESE FIVE DIFFERENT MORAL DIMENSIONS, AND IT'S NOT THAT THE RIGHT IS ALWAYS LEFT... OR THE RIGHT IS ALWAYS WRONG, AND THE LEFT IS ALWAYS RIGHT. SORT OF A FUNNY WAY TO PUT IT, BUT IT'S THAT THEY EMPHASIZE DIFFERENT THINGS. I MEAN, SO THE RIGHT TENDS TO EMPHASIZE THINGS LIKE RULE OF LAW, YOU KNOW, NATIONALISM, NATIONAL PRIDE, FAMILY, YOU KNOW, GROUP COHESIVENESS, YOU KNOW, OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY TO A CERTAIN EXTENT. UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS THOSE ARE ALL GOOD THINGS. UNDER DIFFERENT CONDITIONS, THEY MAY NOT BE SO GOOD. IT DEPENDS ON THE CONTEXT, AND THE LEFT EMPHASIZES MORE THESE MORAL VALUES OF THE PROTECTION OF INDIVIDUALS, THE, YOU KNOW, THE HARM CARE, THAT WE TAKE CARE OF PEOPLE THAT CAN'T TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES, WE MAKE SURE PEOPLE ARE NOT HARMED AND SO FORTH. THOSE ARE ALSO GOOD MORAL VALUES THAT MANY PEOPLE ON THE RIGHT EMBRACE, BUT THEY OFTEN DON'T EMBRACE THEM TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY EMBRACE THE OTHER MORAL VALUES HAVING TO DO WITH SAY GROUP COHESIVENESS OR THE RULE OF LAW. AND, SO, AGAIN, THERE'S THIS CONSTANT TENSION. AND IN MY LATEST BOOK, THE BELIEVING BRAIN, I ACTUALLY CONCLUDE THAT IT'S POSSIBLE, BECAUSE OF OUR HUMAN NATURE IN WHICH WE HAVE ALL FIVE OF THESE MORAL DIMENSIONS, THAT WE WILL ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING LIKE A TWO-PARTY SYSTEM OR AT LEAST A CLUSTER OF A BUNCH OF PARTIES THAT CLUSTER TOWARDS THE LEFT AND THE RIGHT, IN WHICH YOU HAVE THIS SORT OF TENSION IN WHICH YOU HAVE ONE SIDE THAT WANTS CHANGE AND TO UPSET THE APPLE CART OF SOCIAL ORDER AND YOU WANT... THE OTHER SIDE THAT WANTS TO MAINTAIN... THE CONSERVATIVES. THEY WANT TO CONSERVE THE SOCIAL ORDER. IT COULD BE THAT IT'S GOOD TO HAVE BOTH OF THOSE KEEPING EACH OTHER IN CHECK SO THAT NEITHER SIDE GOES TOO FAR. AND, SO, YOU KNOW, IN OUR CURRENT POLITICS THAT ALWAYS SEEM SO BELLICOSE AND SO JUST HOSTILE AND ANGRY, AND, IN FACT, I'M NOW OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT THERE'S REALLY NOTHING NEW IN THE CURRENT BATTLES. THAT IT WAS ALWAYS... IT'S ALWAYS BEEN NASTY LIKE THAT. IT WAS LIKE THAT IN THE '60S WITH JOHNSON AND NIXON. IT WAS LIKE THAT IN THE 1860S WITH LINCOLN AND WHAT HE HAD TO GO THROUGH TO PASS, YOU KNOW, THE ABOLITIONIST... THE AMENDMENT TO BAN SLAVERY. SORRY. I MEAN, IT'S ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY. MAYBE IT ALWAYS WILL BE THAT WAY BECAUSE OF OUR HUMAN NATURE.

The caption changes to "Theagenda.tvo.org."

Steve says OKAY, THAT'S A NICE SETTING OF THE TABLE, BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO ADD ANOTHER VOICE TO OUR DISCUSSION NOW. IN OXFORD, ENGLAND, VIA SKYPE, LET'S WELCOME MARK LYNAS TO THE PROGRAM. HE'S AN ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST AND THE AUTHOR OF THE GOD SPECIES, HOW THE PLANET CAN SURVIVE THE AGE OF HUMANS. MARK, HOW ARE YOU DOING ALL THE WAY OVER SEAS? GOOD TO HAVE YOU ON THE PROGRAM.

Mark appears on screen sitting in a room with bookshelves. He's in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair. He's wearing glasses, a beige coat and a pale blue shirt.

He says THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I'M ABSOLUTELY FINE. HOW ARE YOU?

Steve says TERRIFIC. I WANT TO START BY JUST PLAYING SOME TAPE OF YOU. THIS WAS YOU AT THE OXFORD FARMING CONFERENCE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM LAST MONTH. WE'LL PLAY A CLIP AND THEN COME BACK AND CHAT. ROLL TAPE, PLEASE.

A clip plays on screen with the title "Mark Lynas. Oxford, UK, January 3, 2013." In the clip, Mark stands at a podium against a green screen and addresses an audience.

He says I WANT TO START WITH SOME APOLOGIES WHICH I BELIEVE ARE MOST APPROPRIATE TO THIS AUDIENCE. FOR THE RECORD, HERE AND UPFRONT I WANT TO APOLOGIZE FOR HAVING SPENT SEVERAL YEARS RIPPING UP GM CROPS. I'M ALSO SORRY THAT I HELPED START THE ANTI-GM MOVEMENT BACK IN THE 90S AND THAT I THEREBY ASSISTED IN DEMONIZING AN IMPORTANT OPTION WHICH CAN AND SHOULD BE USED TO BENEFIT THE ENVIRONMENT. AS AN ENVIRONMENTALIST, AND SOMEONE WHO BELIEVES THAT EVERYONE IN THIS WORLD HAS A RIGHT TO A HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS DIET OF THEIR CHOOSING, I COULD NOT HAVE CHOSEN A MORE COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE PATH AND I NOW REGRET IT COMPLETELY. SO, I GUESS YOU'LL BE WONDERING FOLLOWING ON FROM WHAT MIKE SAID, WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN 1995 AND NOW THAT MADE ME NOT ONLY CHANGE MY MIND, BUT ACTUALLY COME HERE AND STAND BEFORE YOU TODAY AND ADMIT IT. WELL, THE ANSWER IS FAIRLY SIMPLE. I DISCOVERED SCIENCE, AND IN THE PROCESS, I HOPE I'M BECOMING A BETTER ENVIRONMENTALIST.

The clip ends.

Steve says NOW, OF COURSE, YOU'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT GM, THE CAR COMPANY. YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD THERE, AND IT WAS I THINK AN ASTONISHING THING FOR MANY PEOPLE TO HEAR THOSE WORDS COMING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH. SO, I WONDER WHAT THE REACTION WAS TO THAT SPEECH.

The caption changes to "Mark Lynas. Environmental Activist. Author, 'The God species.'"

Michael says THE REACTION WAS IMMEDIATE AND VERY PROFOUND, AND IT SURPRISED ME ENORMOUSLY. I MEAN, I MADE THAT SPEECH JUST TO A CONFERENCE OF 300 OR SO FARMERS IN OXFORD. THIS IS A CONFERENCE THAT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR. IT'S BEEN THE FIRST TIME I HAVE BEEN INVITED TO SPEAK TO IT. AND I JUST THOUGHT I'D TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT HOW MY VIEWS HAVE EVOLVED ON THIS ISSUE AND SHARE IT WITH THEM. AND, IN FACT, THERE WERE PROBABLY SOME PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE WHOSE CROPS I HAD DESTROYED DURING MY SORT OF EARLIER CAREER AS AN ANTI-GMO ACTIVIST.

The caption changes to "The Anti-Science Left. The Scientific Method."

Mark continues AND WITHIN LITERALLY JUST A MATTER OF A COUPLE OF HOURS, THE SPEECH STARTED GOING ALL AROUND ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK, AND BASICALLY WENT VIRAL ON THE INTERNET TO THE EXTENT THAT IT BROUGHT DOWN MY WEBSITE THAT EVENING. AND SINCE THEN, THAT VIDEO, OR AT LEAST THE IMPRESSIONS OF THAT VIDEO, HAVE PROBABLY GONE UP TO HALF A MILLION OR MORE. I'VE EVEN STOPPED COUNTING. SO, IT WAS JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT CAUGHT PEOPLE'S ATTENTION. AND I DON'T THINK IT'S BECAUSE I'M PARTICULARLY INTERESTING. I THINK THERE'S JUST A ZEITGEIST OUT THERE WHERE PEOPLE ARE READY FOR A CHANGE OF... A CHANGE OF HEART ON THIS ISSUE IN TERMS OF, YOU KNOW, WHAT GENERAL PUBLIC OPINION IS.

Steve says WELL, LET'S SEE IF WE CAN UNDERSTAND WHY THAT CHANGE OF HEART TOOK PLACE. TELL US WHY YOU WERE AGAINST GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS TO BEGIN WITH?

A map pops up briefly highlighting the location of Oxford in the UK.

Mark says WELL, THIS WAS 15 OR SO YEARS AGO. BACK IN ABOUT 1995, '96 WAS WHEN I GOT INVOLVED IN THE ISSUE AND THAT'S REALLY WHEN IT BEGAN TO HIT THE BIG TIME. I WOULDN'T CLAIM CREDIT FOR THAT. I WAS, YOU KNOW, ONE PARTICIPANT AMONGST MANY IN A MOVEMENT WHICH WAS ESSENTIALLY LEADERLESS, AND, YOU KNOW, WE DID DO DIRECT ACTION, GOING OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND DESTROYING CROPS. WE DID SOME OF THAT KIND OF THINGS IN THE DAYTIME AS WELL WITH A LOT OF MEDIA AND LOTS OF PRESS ATTENTION, AND IT WAS ALSO A REMARKABLE COALITION OF KIND OF THE RIGHT AND THE LEFT AND TO GO BACK TO YOUR PREVIOUS DISCUSSION. SO, ON THE RIGHT WE HAD THE TABLOID NEWSPAPERS TALKING ABOUT FRANKENFOODS. ON THE LEFT WE HAD THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT WORRYING ABOUT BIG CORPORATIONS AND THE PATENTING OF LIFE. SO, IT WAS ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT KIND OF CAUSED A PERFECT STORM AND IT WAS INCREDIBLY SUCCESSFUL I WOULD SAY AND I DID SAY IT WAS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN I HAVE EVER BEEN INVOLVED WITH. IT'S JUST A SHAME IT WAS FOCUSED, THAT IT WAS PRETTY MUCH ANTI-SCIENCE, AND IT WAS FOCUSED ON DOING THE WRONG THING, AND I THINK IN RETROSPECT IT'S DONE HARM. AND THAT THIS IS AN IMPORTANT TECHNOLOGY WHICH CAN BE USED FOR THE GOOD OF THE ENVIRONMENT, BUT I DIDN'T KNOW THAT AT THE TIME, AND, YOU KNOW, I HAVE CHANGED MY MIND BECAUSE FACTS I HAVE SEEN IN THIS HAVE CHANGED AS WELL.

Steve says WELL, HELP US UNDERSTAND THAT. WHAT WERE SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTS THAT HELPED YOUR THINKING EVOLVE ON THIS ISSUE?

Mark says WELL, BACK THEN WE DIDN'T KNOW WHETHER GMOS WOULD BE SAFE OR NOT. AND, SO, YOU CAN NOW SAY THAT SOMETHING LIKE 2 TO 3 TRILLION MEALS HAVE BEEN EATEN NOW CONTAINING GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, AND THERE'S BEEN NO SUBSTANTIATED CASE OF HARM AT ALL. SO, IN THAT SENSE, IT'S SAFER THAN ORGANIC FOOD WHERE, OF COURSE, THERE HAVE BEEN VARIOUS OUTBREAKS OF BACTERIAL CONTAMINATION WHICH ARE TRACED TO THE ORGANIC FOOD CHAIN. AND, SO, I THINK IT'S TIME WE GOT A BETTER SENSE OF RISK AND BENEFIT FOR THIS. ALSO, THE NEWS IS IN PRETTY STRONGLY THAT WHERE GM CROPS HAVE BEEN DEPLOYED, EVEN WHERE THEY'VE INCREASED HERBICIDE USE IN CERTAIN AREAS, THEY'VE DECREASED INSECTICIDE USE, AND, SO, OVERALL, THE AMOUNT OF TOXINS THAT ARE BEING PUT ON FARM LAND ARE QUITE RADICALLY DOWN. THEY ALSO ALLOW THE INCREASED USE OF NO TILL FARMING WHICH IS GOOD FOR CARBON AND WATER RETENTION IN THE SOIL. AND THERE'S A LOT OF GMOS IN THE PIPELINE WHICH CAN INCREASE NITROGEN USE EFFICIENCY, AND ALSO BEING DEVELOPED IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR, SO TO GET AWAY FROM THE BIG CORPORATIONS ASPECT HERE, FOOD FORTIFICATION, WHICH CAN BE REALLY USEFUL TO POORER PEOPLE WHO ARE LACKING MICRONUTRIENTS. SO, THIS IS... THIS REALLY SEEMS TO ME TO BE A VERY IMPORTANT TECHNOLOGY FOR FOOD SECURITY AS WELL AS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION WHEN WE'RE GOING FORWARD TO A WORLD WITH NOW 7 BILLION AND SOON TO BE 9.5 OR SO BILLION PEOPLE BY MID-CENTURY. SO, MY POINT REALLY IS WE CAN'T FORECLOSE ANY TECHNOLOGICAL OPTIONS WHICH COULD BE USEFUL, CERTAINLY NOT ON THE BASIS OF THE KIND OF MISINFORMATION WHICH I WAS INVOLVED IN SPREADING 15 YEARS AGO.

Steve says SO, IF I UNDERSTAND YOU, YOU HAVE SIMPLY FOLLOWED THE FACTS. THE FACTS HAVE CHANGED, AND SO YOUR THINKING HAS CHANGED, AS WELL, AND I WONDER AS YOU HAVE TRIED TO EXPLAIN THAT NEW VIEWPOINT TO SOME OF YOUR COLLEAGUES FROM THE OLD DAYS WHO YOU MAY HAVE BEEN ON THOSE DIRECT ACTION CAMPAIGNS WITH, HOW HAVE THEY REACTED TO THIS?

A picture of Mark's book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a picture of Michelangelo's famous fresco The Creation of Adam.

Mark says PEOPLE HAVE REACTED IN A VARIETY OF WAYS IT'S SAFE TO SAY. THERE'S BEEN SOME NEGATIVE REACTIONS FROM PEOPLE WHO I WAS INVOLVED WITH THEN. A LOT OF THEM STILL DON'T WANT TO SPEAK PUBLICLY. WHAT'S REALLY INTERESTED ME ACTUALLY IS THE REACTION I'VE HAD FROM SCIENTISTS, MANY OF WHOM ARE QUITE WELL KNOWN AROUND THE WORLD. THE TOP PEOPLE IN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, WHO MANY OF THEM E-MAILED ME STRAIGHT AFTER THAT AND SAID, "I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU'RE GETTING ALL THIS ATTENTION, 'CAUSE WE HAVE BEEN SAYING THIS FOR 10, 15 YEARS." WHICH WAS ONE THING THAT WAS INTERESTING, AND ALSO PEOPLE SAID, "IF YOU'RE GETTING A BAGFUL OF HATE MAIL, THAT'S... WELCOME TO MY WORLD. WE HAVE BEEN ALSO EXPERIENCING THIS FOR A VERY LONG TIME." BUT, YOU KNOW, I THINK THERE IS A CHANGE OF OPINION HERE GLOBALLY. AND I WATCHED MY SPEECH GO AROUND THE WORLD IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES IN ARGENTINA, IN CHILE, IN AUSTRALIA, ALL SORTS OF... ALL SORTS OF PLACES. HUGE AMOUNTS OF MEDIA COVERAGE AND POSITIVE, AND I THINK ACTUALLY PEOPLE HAVE REALIZED THAT IT'S A BIT LIKE THE ANTI-VACCINE MOVEMENT. THAT THERE WASN'T THE SCIENCE UNDERPINNING THE CONCERNS ABOUT GMOS, AND THAT A LOT OF IT HAS BEEN SHOWN TO BE FALSE IN RETROSPECT, AND THAT IT IS DOING HARM BECAUSE IT'S PRECLUDING THE USE OF AN IMPORTANT TECHNOLOGY. AND THE TEST I THINK FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT AND FOR MANY OF US OUT THERE IS WHETHER WE CAN CHANGE OUR MINDS NOW THAT... NOW THAT WE KNOW THE FACTS ON THIS ISSUE AND WHETHER WE... YOU KNOW, WHETHER OUR FACTS CAN... OUR-OUR MENTAL FRAMES CAN ACTUALLY ACCOMMODATE SCIENCE ON THIS ISSUE.

Steve says SO, THAT'S GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS. I WONDER IF THERE ARE OTHER ISSUES IN THE SCIENTIFIC REALM THAT YOU ONCE HAD A POSITION ON, YOU HAVE HEARD SOME NEW FACTS, AND THEREFORE YOU HAVE CHANGED YOUR VIEWS ON THAT ALSO. ANYTHING ELSE?

Mark says WELL, CERTAINLY I'VE CHANGED MY VIEWS ON NUCLEAR POWER, BUT THAT'S MORE IN RESPONSE TO THE INCREASING URGENCY OF CLIMATE CHANGE, AND I HAVE WRITTEN TWO BOOKS ON CLIMATE CHANGE REALLY TRYING TO BRING AWARENESS TO THE ISSUE, AND I STARTED WORK ON THIS WAY BACK IN 2000. THE MOST RECENT ONE I WROTE WAS CALLED SIX DEGREES AND THAT WAS PUBLISHED IN 2007, 2008. AND, YOU KNOW, WE SIMPLY CAN'T SOLVE THIS PROBLEM WITH THE TECHNOLOGY PRESCRIPTION WHICH IS PUT OUT THERE BY MOST PEOPLE WHO ARE CONCERNED ABOUT IT. YOU KNOW, THE AL GORES OF THIS WORLD WHO SAY THAT WE CAN DO ALL... YOU KNOW, PROVIDE THE ENERGY WE NEED WITH JUST WIND AND SOLAR AND EFFICIENCY. AND FRANKLY THAT'S DELUSIONAL. YOU KNOW, I'M A BIG SUPPORTER OF WIND AND SOLAR, BUT THEY ARE LESS THAN 1 percent OF GLOBAL ENERGY AT THE MOMENT. WE'RE NOT GOING TO BRING THEM TO 80 percent, TO 100 percent WITHOUT A LOT MORE LOW CARBON ENERGY COMING FROM OTHER SOURCES. HYDRO ELECTRICITY CAN BE PART OF THAT, BUT THE ONLY ONE THAT'S REALLY SCALABLE AND CAN BE DEPLOYED TO THE KIND OF ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF ENERGY GENERATION THAT WE NEED IS NUCLEAR, AND IT'S ALSO RELATIVELY ENVIRONMENTALLY BENIGN AGAIN CONTRARY TO MOST PEOPLE'S PERCEPTIONS ON THIS.

Steve says OKAY, JUST FINALLY BEFORE I GET MICHAEL SHERMER TO MAKE A COMMENT ON ALL OF WHAT HE'S JUST HEARD, YOU HEARD HIM TALK ABOUT THE STRAINS OF ANTI-SCIENCE ON THE LEFT, AND YOU'LL FORGIVE THE PUN, BUT IS HE RIGHT ABOUT THE LEFT IN WHAT HE SAYS?

Mark says UM, FROM MY PERSPECTIVE I DON'T SEE IT SO MUCH AS A LEFT-RIGHT ISSUE. WE DON'T HAVE THE SORT OF SAME REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS THING HERE. THE POLITICAL RIGHT IS, YOU KNOW, CERTAINLY IN TERMS OF THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY HERE IN THE U.K. IS STRONGLY IN FAVOUR OF DEALING WITH CLIMATE CHANGE AND SO THERE'S NOT MUCH DENIALISM. ALTHOUGH IT DOES TEND TO BE MORE OF A CREATURE OF THE RIGHT IN THE WAY THAT HE IDENTIFIES. BUT, YES, I THINK LEFT, RIGHT, ENVIRONMENTALISTS, AND NON-ENVIRONMENTALISTS HAVE GOT THINGS WRONG HERE AND I THINK BOTH NEED TO BE CHALLENGED. THE PROBLEM OFTEN IS THAT ENVIRONMENTALISTS ARE QUITE SELF-RIGHTEOUS AND I HAVE FALLEN INTO THAT TRAP, TOO, IN TERMS OF TAKING THE MORAL HIGH GROUND, AND ONCE YOU HAVE DONE THAT AND THEN YOU FIND OUT THAT YOU'RE WRONG, IT'S ACTUALLY MORE DIFFICULT TO BACK DOWN PERHAPS THAN A MORE HUMBLE POSITION TO START WITH.

Steve says MICHAEL SHERMER, YOU'VE BEEN LISTENING TO THIS DISCUSSION. WHAT'S YOUR VIEW ON WHAT YOU JUST HEARD ABOUT THE EVOLUTION OF MARK'S VIEWS?

Michael says WELL, FIRST OF ALL, MARK, CONGRATULATIONS FOR MAKING A SWITCH LIKE THAT. THAT TAKES A LOT OF INTELLECTUAL COURAGE. I HAPPEN TO AGREE WITH YOU, BUT EVEN SOMEBODY WHO DOESN'T AGREE WITH YOU HAS AT LEAST GOT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT TO BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE YOU MADE THE SWITCH BECAUSE OF DATA, BECAUSE OF SCIENCE, AND THAT'S REALLY WHAT SCIENCE IS ALL ABOUT, IT IS CHANGING YOUR MIND WHEN THERE IS NEW EVIDENCE AND I THINK THAT TAKES A LOT OF INTELLECTUAL COURAGE. ALMOST NOBODY DOES THAT. VERY HARD FOR ANY OF US TO DO THAT. ANOTHER THOUGHT I HAD, I MENTIONED EARLIER JONATHAN HEIGHTS' FIVE MORAL FOUNDATIONS. ONE OF HIS FIVE IS PURITY AND SANCTITY, WHICH ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE OF THINGS, CONSERVATIVE SIDE OF THINGS, IT USUALLY DEALS WITH THE HUMAN BODY. THE PURITY AND SANCTITY OF SEX, AND DON'T DRINK TOO MUCH, DON'T SMOKE, DON'T CAROUSE AND SO FORTH, AND THAT'S CONSIDERED TO BE SORT OF A RELIGIOUS, SPIRITUAL KIND OF PURITY AND SANCTITY, BUT I SEE IT ON THE LEFT, AS WELL. THE ENVIRONMENT. THE AIR. THE WATER. THE FOOD. THERE'S THIS SORT OF ALMOST SAME LEVELS OF CONSERVATIVES ON THE LEFT OF THIS CONCERN FOR PURITY AND SANCTITY OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT, AND, I MEAN, ON THE ONE HAND WHO WOULDN'T BE IN FAVOUR OF CLEANER AIR AND WATER AND SO FORTH? BUT ON THE OTHER HAND THERE'S 7 BILLION OF US. AND SO INSTEAD OF A KIND OF SUBTLE LET'S GO BACK TO PALEOLITHIC DAYS OF HUNTER GATHERERS WHERE WE LIVED IN ECO-HARMONY WITH THE ENVIRONMENT, WHICH WAS NEVER TRUE ANYWAY, LET'S GO FORWARD AND SEE WHAT WE CAN DO TECHNOLOGICALLY, SCIENTIFICALLY, POLITICALLY, AND ECONOMICALLY TO SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS RATHER THAN JUST BEING, YOU KNOW, AGAINST THEM ALL ACROSS THE BOARD. WITH EACH OF THE DIFFERENT ENERGY SOURCES THAT MARK WAS JUST TALKING ABOUT, YOU KNOW, WIND AND SOLAR AND, YOU KNOW, HYDROELECTRIC, NUCLEAR AND SO FORTH, THEY ALL HAVE DOWNSIDES. IT'S NOT HARD TO FIND A STUDY HERE OR THERE THAT SAYS, "WELL, IT'S BAD BECAUSE OF THIS OR IT'S BAD BECAUSE OF THAT." MY QUESTION IS WHAT'S THE OVERALL BALANCE OF THINGS? AND IN MY VIEW, THE SCIENCE SHOWS THAT OVERALL THINGS HAVE BEEN GETTING A LOT BETTER OVER THE LAST HALF CENTURY, AND I DON'T KNOW WHY ENVIRONMENTALISTS ON THE LEFT DON'T TAKE CREDIT FOR THAT. I MEAN, THEY REALLY LAUNCHED THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT THAT REALLY HAS... SHOULD BE GIVEN CREDIT FOR A LOT OF THESE CHANGES. AND I THINK IT MIGHT... IT MIGHT IN PART BE AN ARTIFACT OF JUST, I HATE TO SOUND CRUDE ABOUT IT, BUT FUNDRAISING. IF YOU WANT TO RAISE MONEY FOR YOUR NON-PROFIT, YOU CAN'T SAY THINGS ARE GETTING BETTER, AND YOU KNOW, WE DON'T NEED YOUR HELP AS MUCH. YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO WAVE THE RED MEAT AND SAY, YOU KNOW, "THINGS ARE BAD AND GETTING WORSE AND WE NEED YOU TO DIG DEEP INTO YOUR POCKETS, GET THAT CHEQUEBOOK OUT, 'CAUSE THIS ENEMY ON THE RIGHT, THEY'RE TRYING TO, YOU KNOW, RUIN THE ENVIRONMENT, AND, YOU KNOW, THEY HATE... THEY HATE... THEY HATE THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT," AND SO ON. BUT IN FACT THINGS REALLY ARE MUCH, MUCH BETTER THAN THEY WERE HALF A CENTURY AGO.

Steve says OKAY. MICHAEL AND MARK, STAND BY ONE SECOND, BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO BRING ONE MORE VOICE INTO OUR DISCUSSION ON THE LINE NOW IN WASHINGTON, D.C. IS CHRIS MOONEY. HE'S A SCIENCE JOURNALIST AND THE AUTHOR OF THE REPUBLICAN BRAIN, THE SCIENCE OF WHY THEY DENY SCIENCE AND REALITY.

Chris appears on screen against a backdrop image of the Capitol. He's in his early thirties, clean-shaven, with short black hair. He's wearing a black sweater over a gray shirt.

Steve continues AND, CHRIS, WE WELCOME YOU TO TVO TONIGHT, AND I WONDER IF YOU COULD START BY TELLING US, YOU'VE WRITTEN A COUPLE OF BOOKS ACTUALLY ABOUT THE RIGHT WING VIEWS ON SCIENCE. HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THOSE VIEWS JUST FOR STARTERS?

The caption changes to "Chris Mooney. Author 'The republican brain.' Science journalist." Then, it changes again to "The paranoid style of science and politics."

Chris says WELL, IN THE UNITED STATES NOW, ESPECIALLY WE HAVE REALLY SYSTEMATIC CONSERVATIVE DENIAL OF SCIENCE, AND IT ISN'T JUST SCIENCE, IT IS REALITY. I HAVE LISTENED A LOT TO WHAT'S BEEN SAID SO FAR, AND I AGREE THAT THERE ARE MANY PROBLEMS ON THE LEFT AND GMOS ARE CERTAINLY A GOOD EXAMPLE. SO, IT IS TRUE THAT ON THE LEFT YOU FIND SOME DENIAL OF SCIENCE. HOWEVER, ON THE RIGHT IT'S MUCH MORE MONOLITHIC, AND IN FACT, THE DATA YOU PUT UP ACTUALLY SHOWED THAT, PARTLY SHOWED THAT. THERE'S DATA THAT HASN'T BEEN TALKED ABOUT. FOR INSTANCE, THE SOCIOLOGIST, GORDON GAUCHAT, PUBLISHED A STUDY IN THE AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW ABOUT A YEAR AGO, WHERE HE LOOKED AT POLLING DATA FROM THE GENERAL SOCIAL SURVEY ABOUT TRUST IN SCIENCE, AND HE BROKE THE DATA DOWN BY LIBERAL, MODERATE, AND CONSERVATIVE. THIS IS U.S. DATA. AND FOUND THAT CONSERVATIVES HAD DROPPED A LOT IN HOW MUCH THEY TRUST SCIENCE, AND THEY WERE MUCH LOWER THAN LIBERALS AND LOWER THAN MODERATES WHO HAD NOT DROPPED OVER A 30-YEAR TIME PERIOD. SO, IT ISN'T THE CASE THAT BOTH SIDES ARE DOING IT. IT IS THE CASE THAT YOU GET SOME ON BOTH SIDES, BUT IT'S MUCH MORE MONOLITHIC ON THE RIGHT, IT'S MUCH MORE SERIOUS ON THE RIGHT, AND SO I COULD TAKE ISSUE... I LIKE MICHAEL SHERMER A LOT, BUT I COULD TAKE ISSUE WITH A LOT OF THE THINGS THAT HE SAID, AND ACTUALLY ALSO HIS INTERPRETATIONS OF JONATHAN HEIGHTS' RESEARCH, WHICH I'D BE GLAD TO TALK ABOUT.

The clip ends.

An animated slate reads "The Agenda in the Summer."

Nam stands in the studio alone.

She says AND THAT'S IT FOR TONIGHT'S AGENDA IN THE SUMMER. TOMORROW, WE RECALL A CONVERSATION WITH MELANIE GOODCHILD ABOUT WHAT SCIENCE CAN LEARN FROM INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS. I'M NAM KIWANUKA. THANKS FOR WATCHING TVO AND FOR JOINING US ONLINE AT TVO.ORG. AND WE'LL SEE YOU AGAIN TOMORROW.

Music plays as an animated slate reads "The Agenda in the Summer."

The announcer says THE AGENDA IN THE SUMMER WITH NAM KIWANUKA IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH GENEROUS PHILANTHROPIC CONTRIBUTIONS FROM VIEWERS LIKE YOU. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING TVO'S JOURNALISM.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

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Watch: Can the Left be Anti-Science?