“Trust in scientists does not depend solely on their knowledge.”

“Trust in scientists does not depend solely on their knowledge.”

How do scientists arrive at that single vision that defines the course of their careers? They talk about this in the Eureka section, published every weekend in AD, presented by the editors of New Scientist. This time: Bastian Rötjens, assistant professor of social psychology at the University of Amsterdam.

“My research focuses on trust, the phenomenon in which you accept that something outside yourself is capable of solving problems that you cannot solve yourself. You are willing to enter into a relationship of dependency, and thus accept that the agency or institute sometimes knows better and can make decisions for you.

Until I trust

In the past, research has been done on trust in science itself, and we have seen some form of heterogeneity there. By this I mean that it also depends on the scientific field whether people have more or less trust in scientists. This gave rise to the idea of ​​seeking trust for each specialty. This led to a great moment of insight.

Read also

How house music developed in Europe and the United States

This musical movement emerged in Europe in the 1980s, but not in the United States. Cultural sociologist Reince Wildrum revealed why.

Bastian Rötjens

We have one for this study Progressive The approach used. We asked the first group of participants who they considered to be exemplary scientists. In this way we ended up with 45 different researchers in different fields. We had these 45 people rated by another group of 2,780 participants on issues such as morality, competence, assertiveness and warmth.

Hot topic

On a seven-point scale, political scientists (3.71) and economists (4.28) appear to have the least trust, while neuroscientists and marine biologists score the highest. Of course I was happy with this result, but certainly not surprised. After all, political scientists, as well as climate scientists and virologists, for example, conduct research on topics that are hot topics in current affairs. As a result, they somewhat enter your personal sphere. People have stronger feelings about this than, say, cosmological research.

I think these findings are useful for thinking about how we practice science communication. It is not only about a person’s perceived knowledge, but also about their personal motivations and moral aspect.

See also  A surprising difference has been discovered between children who go to daycare and those who don't

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *