Editor

Kathleen P. Hunt

Proceedings Title

Understanding the Role of Trust and Credibility in Science Communication

Description

ABSTRACT: David Wallace-Wells’ July 2017 New York magazine article on climate change effects entitled “The Uninhabitable Earth” gained a large and drastically polarized readership whose reactions veered from horrified appreciation to utter rejection of the author and the several scientists he cites. This publishing event put on display contemporary mistrust of science. The analysis of trust and authority demonstrates that these terms conceal a great deal of ambivalence. When authority is corrupted, the effect is not ambivalence but disorientation. If trust is often impossible, as it appears to be in contemporary climate debates, a suitably pessimistic politics can be found in Fisher and Ury’s phrase “proceed independent of trust.”

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/sciencecommunication-181114-1

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

"The Uninhabitable Earth," Higher Pessimism, and Proceeding Independent of Trust

ABSTRACT: David Wallace-Wells’ July 2017 New York magazine article on climate change effects entitled “The Uninhabitable Earth” gained a large and drastically polarized readership whose reactions veered from horrified appreciation to utter rejection of the author and the several scientists he cites. This publishing event put on display contemporary mistrust of science. The analysis of trust and authority demonstrates that these terms conceal a great deal of ambivalence. When authority is corrupted, the effect is not ambivalence but disorientation. If trust is often impossible, as it appears to be in contemporary climate debates, a suitably pessimistic politics can be found in Fisher and Ury’s phrase “proceed independent of trust.”

 

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