Actions and Detail Panel
Science in a Post-Truth World
Wed 22 March 2017, 18:00 – 20:30 GMT
Science is an evidence-based discipline and, in a post-truth society where trust in major institutions is being eroded, science and scientists should be a source of dependable information. Can public scepticism to science and technology be explained by a failure to understand the issues or should external factors be taken into account?
Science in a post-truth world
Prof Steve Rayner explores how personal beliefs may impact our views and affect how we engage with science. It is important that politics and policies are evidencebased for them to be most effective but there is growing disagreement over facts, a topic recently given prominence since President Trump’s inauguration. On Wednesday 22 March 2017, at SCI’s Public Evening Lecture, Professor Steve Rayner will discuss how and why personal identity can influence opinions about science and technology and analyse possible approaches to this issue. He will argue that seeking to ‘correct’ the views of others by recourse to ‘facts’ can lead to polarisation and conflict rather than consensus about how the world works.
This lecture will consider social and policy issues as well as science and will be worthwhile for anyone studying or interested in those disciplines.
About the speaker
Steve Rayner is a widely known interdisciplinary expert in the fields of science and climate change policy who was included in the 2008 Smart List by Wired Magazine as ‘one of the 15 people the next US President should listen to’. He has served on a number of prestigious bodies and is the James Martin Professor of Science and Civilisation and Director of the Institute for Science, Innovation, and Society at the University of Oxford.
Professor Rayner describes himself as an ‘undisciplined social scientist’, having trained in philosophy, comparative religion, and political anthropology, and his current research focuses on three related areas: the future of cities, alternative policy frameworks for climate change, and the emergence of novel technologies, especially climate geoengineering.
Join SCI for its Public Evening Lecture series which is free and open to all. This talk forms part of SCI's 2016/17 Outreach Programme of Evening Lectures.
- Wednesday 22 March 2017 by Prof Steve Rayner
T: +44 (0)20 7598 1561