Reframing trust in science

Publication date
Friday, 24 Nov 2023


A model of socialisation of science-policy, incorporating drivers of contextualisation. The model is three smaller circles connected via arrow inside a larger circle. The three circles are 'Scientific research and its products', 'policy interface', and 'societal impacts'.

Science is never without context, and when science is being mobilised for something, it is more important than ever that its social, historical, economic, political contexts are understood and taken into account. 

The response to fears of a 'declining public trust in science' is not to try and increase blind faith in the products of science - it is to make processes of science and technology development more trustworthy, more transparent -- and above all to be conscientious and understanding of the legitimate social contexts that complicate how we mobilise science and technology for positive world impact. 

Science communicators are increasingly engaged in facilitating this interface - the space between the potential science and technology has to offer the world, and how we talk about it when moving in and out of the lab, the field, the model, the workshop. 

This is the message at the heart of the Centre for Science Futures report that was released late last month, and I am thrilled to have been a co-author of this work. Getting to collaborate with the International Science Council and Nick, and with sci-comm legends Sujatha, Jenni, Joan and Toss so early in my PhD has been an awesome opportunity. 

We present a new model of understanding the relationship between science and public impact that demonstrates the feedback loops at all stages of the process, and is grounded on an understanding of these contexts. 

This was written by PhD Research Indigo Strudwicke.