Recreating climate of trust in experts essential for beating Covid-19

A new article by PERITIA colleagues Maria Baghramian and Shane Bergin has been published in the Irish Times today. The op-ed calls for reassessing the role of expertise at these uncertain times, for joint efforts to “recreate a climate of trust in expertise”, in order to tackle current and future societal challenges like Covid-19.

“The complexities of where we are now have produced a climate of mistrust. Many have become cynical as they try to figure out the real motivations of politicians or experts informing them. To continue in such a toxic climate is dangerous”, they warn.

“A climate of trust depends not on just science-based expertise, but also on complete openness, transparency and accountability from those in decision making positions. The media also has a crucial role in constructing a climate of trust. Sensationalism and turning debates and disagreements into gladiatorial fights where the last man standing is right, are destructive of trust”, they continue.

The authors discussed the many forces at play in the Covid-19 public debate and how the communication of divergent expert voices may impact the overall public trust in expertise. “Experts do not need to be in agreement to be trustworthy, nor should we lose trust in them when they get things wrong.”

Read the full article here.