Professor Rachel Ankeny: What’s the Fuss about Trust? Lessons for Science Communicators in Turbulent Times

Date & time

5.30–7pm 4 April 2017


Green Couch Room, Peter Baume Building 42A

Trust (or lack thereof) in science has become the locus for concerns about the growing distance between and lack of understanding among members of the public and scientists. But limited attention has been paid to analysing key philosophical accounts associated with trust, what they might teach us about developing deeper understandings of the supposed gaps in the public understanding of and engagement with science, and strategies for resolving what currently seems to be a stalemate, particularly with regard to certain ‘hot button’ issues such as climate change and vaccination.

In this seminar, special guest Professor Rachel A. Ankeny from the School of Humanities, University of Adelaide, explores the concept of trust, and consider how adopting a more robust account of trust, with greater attention to the reciprocal relationships required and who or what we can have trust in, in order to shed light on current popular debates about science. She contends that we must rethink our dominant understandings of trust as the sole or main foundation for fostering more meaningful public engagement with science, and develop alternative approaches.

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