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The Fight Against DoubtHow to Bridge the Gap Between Scientists and the Public$
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Inmaculada de Melo-Martín and Kristen Intemann

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190869229

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190869229.001.0001

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The Relevance of Trust

The Relevance of Trust

7 The Relevance of Trust
The Fight Against Doubt

Inmaculada de Melo-Martín

Kristen Intemann

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a brief overview of the importance of epistemic trust and the relevance that scientific institutions and practices have in promoting or undermining warranted public trust. Epistemic trust is crucial for the production of scientific knowledge, the ability of the public to make sense of scientific phenomena, and the development of public policy. Normatively inappropriate dissent is more likely to take hold and erroneously affect people’s beliefs and actions in a context where the trustworthiness of scientists is called into question and where there is an excessive reliance on scientific information when it comes to assessing policy decisions. Thus, finding ways to facilitate and sustain warranted epistemic trust, as well as increasing understanding of the proper role of science in public policy decisions can help mitigate the negative impact of dissenting views.

Keywords:   epistemic trust, moral trust, trustworthiness, credibility, scientific testimony, scientific practice, research institution, public trust, normatively inappropriate dissent

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