PEriTiA – Policy, Expertise and Trust

PERITIA – Policy, Expertise and Trust – is an EU-funded research project exploring the conditions under which people trust expertise used for shaping public policy. The project brings together philosophers, social and natural scientists, policy experts, ethicists, psychologists, media specialists and civil society organisations to conduct a comprehensive multi-disciplinary investigation of trust in and the trustworthiness of policy related expert opinion.

People trust experts based on the information they receive from them and others and the level of trustworthiness they ascribe to their speech and testimony. In this process, emotional aspects, as well as the social and political context, may play a central role on how people place or refuse trust in decision-makers. This affective dimension may apply even in cases where people judge the trustworthiness of an expert based on their professional reputation, reliability and objectivity.

PERITIA explores this key hypothesis and its implications theoretically from different disciplinary perspectives in the first phase of the project. These foundations are further developed empirically in the second stage. Among other actions, researchers will conduct a series of surveys across European countries, comparative research on science advice systems, online interactive behavioural experiments, and in-lab cognitive research.

In the final stage, PERITIA will test its findings on the case of climate change with a series of citizen engagement actions. These citizen fora will be organised across Europe following the format of “face-to-face” encounters between experts and the public on the topic of climate change. The project thus goes beyond research by involving other societal actors and plans other actions to engage researchers, policymakers and citizens such as a series of podcasts and a youth essay competition.

New PERITIA video: Why Trust Experts?

Our EU-funded research project PERITIA has launched a new animation video, “Why Trust Experts?“. Inspired by their principal investigator Maria Baghramian’s article “Trust in Experts: Why and Why Not”, the video invites everyone to reflect on the role of expertise in our daily lives.

Who to trust on Covid-19?

ALLEA is pleased to announce the PERITIA webinar ‘Who to trust on Covid-19: When science advice gets “dirty” in the political mud’. The one-hour Q&A webinar will delve into the impact of this pandemic on trust in expertise. The event will take place on 2 November (14:00-15:00 CET) and is part of the Berlin Science Week.

Trust in Expertise at times of Covid-19

The EU-funded research project PERITIA just launched its first newsletter dedicated to Covid-19 and trust in expertise. The issue includes highlights from the first five months of the project with a selection of essays, news, interviews, blog posts, and podcasts from its team dealing with how the pandemic is affecting trust in expertise and science advice systems.

PERITIA has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870883.