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“Numbers and Nerves: Addressing the Arithmetic of Compassion and the World’s Most Urgent Issues,” presented by Scott Slovic and Paul Slovic.

This presentation by a father-son team will explore how the social sciences and the environmental humanities can come together to enable us to understand how information is presented and perceived in the contexts of genocide, the refugee crisis, global climate change, and other humanitarian and environmental challenges. Psychological tendencies such as psychic numbing, pseudoinefficacy, and the prominence effect limit our ability to apprehend information about important phenomena, while other cognitive processes accentuate our sensitivity to information. In this lecture, they will cover material from their 2015 book, Numbers and Nerves: Information, Emotion, and Meaning in a World of Data, and explain various applications to public policy and communication strategies for artists and writers.

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