July 14, 2012
Lippmann's thoroughgoing pessimism may lead us to a better understanding of the role of communication in public deliberations between scientists and citizens.
"Responsible" advocacy is still advocacy. To be good, it should be zealous. But zeal undermines scientific authority. So advising, not advocating, should be the speech act of choice.
Scientists can earn trust--but only by making themselves vulnerable.
Experts have methods for earning the trust of lay audiences--but using their authority is costly. I explain how.
Principal-agent theory can help us understand some of the reasons we may have for distrusting experts--and how that distrust can be addressed.
We don't trust Wikipedia because we're confident that the collective of editors know stuff. We trust Wikipedia because the Wikipedians love it.
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