The Weekly Stripe – 07.05.20
The current pandemic has revealed how much the world relies on experts to provide advice to governments and citizens based on scientific knowledge. At the same time, it has become clear that experts are not necessarily trusted and sometimes cannot successfully compete to win people's attention. This week we look at the current crisis of trust and expertise.
We’re used to being able to search for information and find answers immediately but in the current crisis, the reliable answers are simply not there yet and recommendations take time to appear. This article discusses the challenges that public health authorities are facing in the “attention economy”.
This op-ed by the sociologist Gil Eyal explains that experts are facing two challenges – they have to advise on highly complex issues and they do not have enough hard evidence to support their recommendations. However, this crisis is an opportunity for experts to win back people’s trust.
In the UK, the problems with experts have recently surfaced when Prof. Neil Ferguson resigned. In the US, on the other hand, Dr Anthony Fauci is winning trust and support of many, including Brad Pitt. Here’s his Saturday Night Live sketch.
So who should we trust? The leading expert on trust Rachel Botsman explores all kinds of trust issues in her podcast series.
We’re all put to test. Speaking of tests, a highly debated subject, here are videos of sociologists explaining the importance of understanding tests and the relevance of their research in the current crisis. Have you been tested?