This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
CA
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Canada version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Skeptical Inquirer > January February 2018 > Yes, We Do Need Experts

Yes, We Do Need Experts

[ BEHAVIOR & BELIEF

Stuart Vyse is a psychologist and author of Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition, which won the William James Book Award of the American Psychological Association.

He is a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

I recently watched a livestream video of a panel discussion titled “What Happened to the Public Intellectual?” (https://www.facebook.com/events/167273190504508/). Although the panelists were all very smart, I came away thinking this was another vapid topic such as those referred to in the Simon and Garfunkel song “The Dangling Conversation,” Paul Simon’s portrait of a faded marriage.

Yes, we speak of things that matter With words that must be said

“Can analysis be worthwhile?”

“Is the theater really dead?”

The panel discussion might have been more interesting and timely if it had not been on such a narrow and celebrity-oriented topic—a mistake not made by Tom Nichols, author of the recent book The Death of Expertise: TheCampaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters (Nichols 2017b).1

The problem isn’t merely that public intellectuals are disappearing. We could (and can) live with that. Much more worrisome is the growing view that expert knowledge in general is of little value and has no role in our democracy. If you need evidence that expertise is falling out of favor, consider the following examples:

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Skeptical Inquirer - January February 2018
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - January February 2018
$3.99
Or 399 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.00 per issue
$23.99
Or 2399 points

View Issues

About Skeptical Inquirer

A SKEPTIC'S GUIDE TO RACISM Critical Thinking Approaches to Confronting Racism Why Pseudoscience Should Be Taught in College A Cancer Nurse Examines Alternative Medicine

Other Articles in this Issue