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Shelf Life: Calling Bullshit

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The ability to detect hogwash is a critical life skill.

In a world where photos are easily faked, data graphics can manipulate our emotions — whether by intention or incompetence — and numbers can be twisted to mislead, you can’t just trust what you see.

Jevin D. West ’00, M.S. ’04, director of the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, partnered with his colleague Carl T. Bergstrom to write Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in Data-Driven World to equip everyday people with the ability to identify and refute the maelstrom of bullshit they increasingly encounter. “Calling bullshit is crucial to the healthy functioning of a social group, be it a circle of friends, a community of academics, or the citizenry of a nation,” they write.

The hope is that by providing people with the tools to question bad information it preserves their ability to recognize and trust good information. Because with bullshit, we are both the mark and
the messengers.


Read Dr. West’s conversation about misinformation and COVID-19 with the College of Science’s Discovery magazine.

Other publications included in fall 2021’s Shelf Life:

If you are an Aggie with a trade/general interest book published in the last year, email mageditor@usu.edu

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