Education in a Post-Truth Society

By Aleesha Taylor, NEPC Program Adviser

Are we in a post-fact or post-truth global society?  Some make the case that evidence is no more or less central to decision-making than in the past, and that assumptions that we’ve transitioned to a post-fact society simply reflect increased access to information that reinforces our beliefs and what we want or expect to hear.  Others see an alarming trend of emotions, perceptions and personal beliefs – rather than research and scientific evidence – shaping policies and political decisions, noting that this implies that we have indeed shifted.  While facts and debate are undoubtedly necessary to maintain a healthy democracy, the democratization of knowledge is perhaps partly to blame for the apparent decrease in the importance being placed on facts and evidence.  The implication that everyone’s opinion matters may be linked to an assumption that everyone’s opinion should have equal weight.

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