As my first follow-up to my piece on #breastfeedingdenialism , I drew upon research in science communication and my own personal experience in science policy to investigate the question of how public health advocates and enthusiastic parents can make their online discourse more:
There is a lot of misinformation related to infant feeding in the media discourse. Since infant feeding is a highly consequential public health and equity issue, so it’s important to set the record straight. However, as I noticed in my previous piece, scientists and parents alike are at a loss as to how to respond. So let’s let science—and a little experience, where the science is lacking—be our guiding light.
I have been road-testing a number of strategies over the past few years, and reading up on what research has been able to tell us on this topic. What resulted is a collection of tips and strategies for clinicians, public health advocates, parents, and educators who actively engage others on this topic but feel they need more guidance in how to be more effective. If you feel like the discussion on infant feeding is lacking in nuance, compassion, and real science, this guide is for you.
Oh and, by the way, this guide was written for people on BOTH “sides” of this issue! Because—spoiler alert!—everybody could use some improvement in their communication skills, here.
WHAT THE GUIDE CONTAINS:
* Suggested language to use and to avoid in public discourse
* Common logical fallacies employed on both “sides” of this debate–how to avoid them and how to respond to them
* Discussion strategies that will help you have more productive conversations
* Ethical guidelines to help you avoid causing harm with your words
WHAT THE GUIDE IS NOT:
* How to “win” an argument or convert someone to your side
* A list of sick burns
* A tool for shaming, othering, excluding, or condemning people you disagree with
* An easy way out of this very, very complex issue
* A review of the scientific literature (others have already done this, better than I ever would)
👓To read the guide, check out the link in my profile!