Newsletter: Changing minds

Here’s what we have in store this week:

•   A new podcast episode with science journalist, David McRaney
   We talk a lot about the art of debate. Today we are exploring the science of persuasion
   Your Sunday reading list


Join us today for a fascinating discussion about how ‘minds change.’   John Donvan talks to David McRaney, a science journalist and author of How Minds Change:  The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion and Persuasion about the process of ‘deep canvassing,’  a methodology of active listening and subsequent, empathic discussion.  He explains why it is an effective mechanism for persuasion, capable of influencing peoples’ entrenched values and beliefs even in these deeply divided times.


He also explains how this technique helped drive transformative opinion shifts in the United States, most recently on same sex marriage.  In 1996, 73 percent of Americans opposed it; now 70 percent are in favor.


Given McRaney’s valuable insights on how people become open to new perspectives, he seemed a natural fit for what we do here at Open to Debate. Everything from changes of opinions on abortion rights to the broader, almost existential threat that a challenging of core beliefs can evoke, are on offer.


It was a wide-ranging and compelling conversation. We encourage you to have a listen.

Like on YouTube

Listen to the Podcast



Attributed to Brian Resnick Vox’s science and health editor. Learn more here.





Points of View

What the neocons got wrong
Max Boot | March 10, 2023
Foreign Affairs

Watch Max’s debate on America as the world’s policeman


China-Russia relations in the shadow of the invasion of Ukraine
Robert Daly | March 9, 2023
Wilson Center

Watch Robert’s debate on US-China relations


Supreme Court’s skepticism of student loan plan has upside for liberals
Noah Feldman | March 5, 2023

Watch Noah’s debate on the president’s constitutional limits


Say it with Rubio: Changing clocks is stupid
Allison Schrager | March 9, 2023
The Washington Post

Watch Allison’s debate on unions

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