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Credible fact-making for policy demands the same legitimating moves as are required for credible politics. Experts, like politicians, must represent the world in ways that respect diverse standpoints, aggregate disparate opinions to produce a semblance of objectivity, and find persuasive ways to bridge gaps between available and ideal states of knowledge. Every society, moreover, commands its own culturally recognized approaches to producing and testing public knowledge, and expert practices must conform to these to be broadly accepted. Insisting on the superior authority of science without attending to the politics of reason and persuasion will not restore trust in either knowledge or power. Instead, trust can be regained with more inclusive processes for framing policy questions, greater attentiveness to dissenting voices and minority views, and more humility in admitting where science falls short and policy decisions must rest on prudence and concern for the vulnerable.


Jasanoff, Sheila. "The Discontents of Truth & Trust in 21st Century America." Daedalus 151.4 (Fall 2022): 25-42.