Policymakers, like the rest of us, construct narratives to understand how the world works and to justify decisions based on that. At their best, these are shaped by scientific evidence. But even the best-informed narratives must by definition leave something out — and when what is left out would challenge or undermine the narrative, this is 'uncomfortable knowledge'.
Our guests today, Mario Giampietro and Roger Strand, argue that failure to confront uncomfortable knowledge in a variety of important areas is leading to existential problems for our democratic institutions. But is it possible to escape the death spiral — and what can science advisors try to do about it?