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How to avoid a backlash against experts

How to avoid a backlash against experts

6 July 2020
A new EU-funded research project has set out to study the role of expertise in democracies, how science should inform political decisions, and how to prevent a populist backlash against the notion of ‘expertise’.

The work of Peritia includes conducting a comprehensive multi-disciplinary investigation of trust in, and the trustworthiness of, policy-related expert opinion. Its research will develop a theoretical framework to understand the fundamentals of trust, which will be complemented empirically with surveys and in-lab experiments.

A central part of this work will consist of a comparison of existing science advice mechanisms in four European countries. PERITIA researchers will investigate how expert advice is elicited and which of the available models is more trust enhancing.

The project’s plans also reach beyond research. Investigators seeks to design effective indicators and tools to build trust in expertise informing policy. Their conclusions will be tested in a series of citizens’ forums where experts, policymakers, and citizens will engage in face-to-face discussions on climate change.

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