The Science of Diversity Lab is dedicated to exploring social justice and polarized issues through a scientific lens.
Science of Diversity Educational Method
The Science of Diversity® method is rooted in scientific reasoning to help improve how people approach diverse viewpoints and reduce otherization. It draws from the scientific method of formulating a hypothesis, gathering all available data, analyzing the evidence, and drawing conclusions based on the data. The Science of Diversity® method is a powerful educational tool that can help address social justice by allowing people to engage in discussions about polarizing issues.
Dr. Weissmark developed the Science of Diversity® method following her groundbreaking research that brought together descendants of Nazis and Holocaust survivors, and then later, the descendants of slave owners and enslaved people at Harvard University. These experiences opened her eyes to the notions of justice, bias, and intergenerational conflict. The need emerged for constructive methods of discourse that can facilitate difficult conversations.
The Science of Diversity® study brings together groups with divided opinions to research how collective data gathering and reasoning can help build empathy for one another and facilitate more meaningful conversations.
The four aims of the Science of Diversity Educational Approach are:
1. Teaching learners to acknowledge their biases and explore their viewpoints as hypotheses to be tested, rather than opinions to be proven. This encourages learners to develop alternative hypotheses that may counter their existing opinions, which broadens their perspectives.
2. Enabling learners to see, empathize with, and consider the other side’s hypotheses.
3. Building literacy in scientific reasoning through understanding the fundamentals of the
4. Gaining hands-on experience conducting scientific experiments by collaboratively gathering all available data to support or refute the hypotheses in question. This allows the data to be analyzed as a group and enables collective reasoning to help reach group consensus.
The Science of Diversity Guest Speaker Series
The Science of Diversity Guest Speaker initiative invites prominent guest speakers from various backgrounds seasoned in social or psychological topics to converse with and the audience on current topics. The talks are organized to stimulate scientific conversations and engage the public in discourse about diverse and sensitive topics.
Guests have included:
Dr. Steven Pinker on: Rationality
Dr. Don Goldman on: Infectious Diseases, Pandemics, and the impact that Social Injustice has upon them
Dr. Michael Shermer on: Psychology of Belief and Conspiracy Theories