Trusting the expert

Nicholas Russell writing in the Times Higher Education refers to a paper by Friederike Hendriks , Dorothe Kienhues, Rainer Bromme on measuring laypeople’s trust in experts. Expertise is not enough. ‘We must also believe the specific expert in question to be honest and to have our welfare at heart.’ Unfortunately Nicholas Russell only mentioned Hendriks, and left out the other two authors Dorothe Kienhues and Rainwer Bromme, so here’s a photo of Dr Dorothe Kienhues to compensate.


The Hendriks, Kienhues and Bromme paper looks at trust in scientific experts. The big concerns at the moment are about trust in experts in politics, social science, economics, health and education, not to mention climate change. The obvious villains when it comes to undermining trust in human knowledge and understanding are Trump, Gove and the other Brexit crooks but there are plenty of others. In a small way this blog intends to fight back by recommending reliable experts and saying why they are reliable, why  we should pay them attention and what I think we can learn from them.

I’m going to look out for Tom Nichols’ book, The Death of Expertise, due out in April. There’s a trailer here. Meanwhile, I’m going to look at what the experts have to say about American politics and the use of Twitter.

Trusting the expert

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