Journal for General Philosophy of Science

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 247–261 | Cite as

Understanding and Trusting Science

  • Matthew H. SlaterEmail author
  • Joanna K. Huxster
  • Julia E. Bresticker


Science communication via testimony requires a certain level of trust. But in the context of ideologically-entangled scientific issues, trust is in short supply—particularly when the issues are politically ‘entangled’. In such cases, cultural values are better predictors than scientific literacy for whether agents trust the publicly-directed claims of the scientific community. In this paper, we argue that a common way of thinking about scientific literacy—as knowledge of particular scientific facts or concepts—ought to give way to a second-order understanding of science as a process as a more important notion for the public’s trust of science.


Science communication The social structure of science Consensus 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyBucknell UniversityLewisburgUSA
  2. 2.Environmental StudiesEckerd CollegeSaint PetersburgUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medical PhysicsDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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