What causes people to ignore scientific facts? This University of Chicago/Academy of the Arts and Science symposium shed light on how scientists and health professionals can better communicate risk and uncertainty to policy-makers and the public. Public debate continues to intensify about policy responses to issues that otherwise garner significant scientific agreement, for example, the issues of climate change and childhood vaccinations. How do we resolve these sharp policy disagreements? As thought leaders in the fields of natural and social sciences, the speaker discussed the major communication barriers they have encountered in their work, and approaches they found successful in educating the public about science.