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Policy, Expertise and Trust in Action

13 August 2019

A new €3 million Horizon 2020 project will be co-ordinated by Professor Maria Baghramian MRIA

The Royal Irish Academy would like to congratulate Professor Maria Baghramian MRIA, the Head of School of Philosophy at University College Dublin and an Academy Member, on securing €3 million research funding for a three year Horizon 2020 project entitled ‘PEriTiA - Policy, Expertise and Trust in Action’. This project will look at the relationship between science and policy decision making, and the conditions under which people should trust and rely on expert opinion that shapes public policy. Professor Luke Drury MRIA, Professor Emeritus at Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and a Member and former President of the Royal Irish Academy is also a contributing member of the project, while Professor Onora O'Neill, an Honorary Member of the Academy is the Chair of the Advisory Board.

This project will expand on the ‘When Experts Disagree’ project which was funded by the Irish Research Council and led by Professor Baghramian and Professor Luke Drury, and the work of the ALLEA (All European Academies / the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities) Working Group on Truth, Trust and Expertise, which both Professor Baghramian and Professor Drury represent the Royal Irish Academy on.

Speaking about the project, Professor Baghramian said:

The rapid changes in technology and methods of communication have highlighted the need to reassess and understand the requirements of trustworthiness. At the same time, the rise of populist politics with its anti-elitist mantra, has brought the trustworthiness of experts and their areas of expertise into question. Our aim, in this project, is to better understand the nature and conditions of trust in the public domain and to discover indicators which can be used in measuring and establishing the trustworthiness of those involved in social and political decision making.

Due to commence in February 2020, this multi-disciplinary project will bring together philosophers, social and natural scientists, policy experts, ethicists, psychologists, media specialists and civil society organisations to investigate trust in and the trustworthiness of policy related expert opinion. 

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