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Open Science lecture: Public trust in science

  • event for: academic staff, researchers, PhD students and students
  • type of the event: lecture | hybrid
  • language: English
  • date: 3 July 2024, 16:30-18:00 CET
  • form: online & on-site, MS TEAMS & USAAR Campus (A2 4, SR IIa)
  • speaker: Prof. Rainer Bromme (University of Münster, Germany)
  • registration: click here


Due to the division of cognitive labour in modern societies, trust (or mistrust) is the fundamental mode of citizens’ relationship with science. Citizens depend on the epistemic quality of scientific knowledge; hence the relationship with science is a relationship of epistemic trust. Epistemic trust is based on expectations regarding the expertise, integrity, and benevolence of scientists. Drawing from data from representative surveys and experimental studies, I will discuss conditions of trust in science and scientists. This will particularly illuminate the role of controversies in science and about science. Furthermore, I will introduce the notion of informed epistemic trust as a normative as well as a descriptive concept. Finally, it will be discussed how science communication could foster citizens‘ capacities for making informed judgments about the epistemic trustworthiness of science and of scientists.