Dan M. Kahan describes the concept of "The Science of Science Communication" – the idea that there is a science environment where people form their perceptions of risk and gather facts that lead to policy consequences. Like our natural environment, which is essential to the health of individuals living inb a society, the environment for science communication is essential for "enlightened democratic self governance.
The city of Troy, Michigan was facing a budget shortfall, and was considering closing the Troy Public Library for lack of funds. Even though the necessary revenues could be raised through a miniscule tax increase, powerful anti-tax groups in the area were organized against it. A vote was scheduled amongst the city's residents, to shut the library or accept the tax increase, and Leo Burnett Detroit decided to support the library by creating a reverse psychology campaign. Yard signs began appearing that read: "Vote to Close Troy Library on August 2nd – Book Burning Party on August 5th." No one wants to be a part of a town that burns books, and the outraged citizens of Troy pushed back against the "idiotic book burners" and ultimately supported the tax increase, thus ensuring the library's survival.
With Hoggan's help, UBC was able to successfully engage industry, NGOs, residents, governments and institutions around the globe. The program remains one of the most significant accomplishments of the University in its continuous ambition to make BC, Canada and the world a better place.
- Pierre Ouillet, Vice-President Finance, Resources and Operations, University of British Columbia