Maya Goldenberg – The Death of Expertise?
Maya J. Goldenberg (University of Guelph)

November 14, 2019, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Rotman Institute of Philosophy

Stevenson & Hunt Room A - Central Library
251 Dundas St
London N6A 6H9


  • London Public Library
  • Department of Philosophy - Western University


Perhaps at no other time in history has information been more widely & easily accessible. But how reliable is it? What do we do when confronted with fundamental disagreement about matters of social importance, including climate change and vaccination? Whom should we trust? Experts might help us. But who counts as an expert? Our experiences of our own bodies and our surroundings gives us a great deal of information. But what happens when our experience is at odds with what we’re told by doctors or other experts? When should expertise prevail? This series will examine the complex interplay of personal experience, evidence & belief in a variety of different contexts.

A common complaint among science communicators and political watchers is that nobody listens to experts anymore—about climate change, vaccines, GMOs, and more. This populist anti-intellectualism is seen as threatening to liberal democratic societies, because accurate knowledge is supposed to direct good, non-partisan governance. But public resistance to expert claims is better understood as a crisis of trust. Expertise is not dead, but instead is being recalibrated. Thinking about science (including its experts) in relation to society invites new ways of addressing public resistance to expert claims.

Each year, the Rotman Institute of Philosophy and the Department of Philosophy at Western University organize a public lecture series, co-sponsored with the London Public Library. The theme for this year’s lecture series is evidence & belief. All lectures will be held in the Stevenson & Hunt Room at Central Library, on Thursday evenings in November, from 7 – 8:30 pm. Attendance will be free and open to the general public. Advance registration is not required.

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