Rethinking Policy, Expertise and Trust

International Conference | University College Dublin | 23 – 25 March 2023

See below for detailed programme including abstracts or download PDF Programme.

At just over a month shy of PERITIA’s closing event at the European Parliament in Brussels, the UCD O’Brien Centre for Science hosted the project’s final academic conference ‘Rethinking Policy, Expertise and Trust’. A breadth of topics encompassed by PERITIA’s investigation of public trust in expertise was examined by scholars from a wide range of disciplines. Researchers from the fields of philosophy, sociology, political science, media studies, public policy and science communication presented their most recent findings on questions related to key themes of the project, including:

• The scope and nature of public (dis)trust
• Factors contributing to (dis)trust toward experts
• Critical assessments of the role of experts in policy decisions
• The role of social media in establishing (dis)trust
• The key indicators of experts’ trustworthiness
• Psychological, affective, and cognitive mechanisms relevant to (dis)trust
• Empirical studies of trust and trustworthiness


Over three days, participants had the opportunity to attend over 50 paper presentations and 13 panel sessions. The conference kicked off with the launch of PERITIA’s new podcast, ‘The Trust Race’, hosted by Shane Bergin, in part based on the PERITIA lecture series [Un]Truths: Trust in an Age of Disinformation. Other highlights included opening remarks by PERITIA Project Leader Maria Baghramian and a roundtable discussion on strategic crisis management in the EU co-organised by SAPEA and the Royal Irish Academy: ‘Why do we need public trust in times of crisis?’ This session was filmed for those who couldn’t be present in Dublin, but for the lucky in-person attendees, a reception followed directly afterward. On Saturday afternoon, the conference closed with a panel comparing perspectives from three Horizon 2020 projects (PERITIA, EnTrust, and TiGRE) as well as concluding remarks by Professor Onora O’Neill.

Download the final programme (without abstracts).

For questions regarding the conference, please send an email to [email protected].