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Gagging, gatekeeping and gaslighting: how scientists silence each other

Focusing on trust can limit the voices and distort the messages that reach the public, says Nicola Gaston.

When it comes to restrictions on what government scientists can say to whom, gagging is the wrong metaphor. It is more that not everyone is given the microphone, or that some conversations get amplified more than others.

The usual justification for this is that the public needs trusted voices if it is to have trust in science. This is usually taken to mean specific people with a reputation for honesty and objectivity.

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