How Do We Decide Which Experts to Trust?



Prof T.Y. Branch, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cologne

In this ALLEA Digital Salon exclusive, Prof T.Y. Branch, Postdoctoral Fellow at the the Cologne Center for Contemporary Epistemology and the Kantian Tradition (CONCEPT) and member of PERITIA’s research team on the “Social Indicators of Trust”, discusses how publics use both epistemic and non-epistemic values in their decisions to trust or distrust experts and expertise.

Prof Branch shared her insights into this complex and integrated decision-making process, which often involves reading social and cultural cues, described why scientists and science communicators should pay close attention to these social indicators of trust to be more effective, and the utility of acknowledging and being transparent about the role of non-epistemic values in science.

“We know it is no longer enough to just convey the facts of science or the empirical data. You can throw as much empirical data at people as you want, but it is not going to provoke a change in them.”

We invite you to watch the interview, which is part of the ALLEA Digital Salon Women in Science Series. You can also read more about Prof Branch’s work here.

If you are interested in learning more about  this important relationship between public trust and experts/expertise, you could check out PERITIA’s final conference on 4-5 May 2023.