60 minutes | Apr 1st 2020

Joe Public, Will You Marry Me?

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In recent years there has been a lot of talk about public trust in science - how much there is, in what ways, whether we deserve it or not. In this episode, we discuss an article by historian and philosopher Rachel Ankeny that asks whether "trust" is even the right concept to be talking about. What does it mean to trust an abstraction like "science"? When people argue about trust in science, are they even talking about the same thing - the findings, the people, the process, or something else? And we discuss Ankeny's proposed alternative: that instead of the public's trust, scientists should be seeking out engagement. What would an engagement model looks like? How would engagement benefit the public? How would it benefit science? And what about people who just wouldn't want to engage? Plus: We answer a letter from someone who likes, but doesn't love, teaching, and wants to know if that's good enough for academia. Links: How The Pandemic Will End, by Ed Yong in The Atlantic A comment on Everett et al. (2020): No evidence for the effectiveness of moral messages on public health behavioural intentions during the COVID-19 pandemic, by Farid Anvari. (Note: After we recorded the episode, the authors of the original paper updated it and then invited Farid to join them as a co-author. A great outcome!) The Taboo Against Explicit Causal Inference in Nonexperimental Psychology, by Michael Grosz, Julia Rohrer, and Felix Thoemmes Science in an age of scepticism, by Rachel Ankeny in Griffith Review The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher. Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver. This is episode 77. It was recorded on March 26, 2020.
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