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Post-truth era ‘complicating science advice’

Government science advisers have to respond to declining public trust in research, chief scientific adviser Peter Gluckman has said.

While many of the elements of the so-called post-truth era are actually not new, trust in institutions and experts has declined in recent years, Gluckman, who is CSA to the prime minister of New Zealand, said in a speech on 24 August.

This is largely a result of the increased availability of information and the rise of social media, he said in his address to the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences. An additional challenge for government science advisers is that knowledge is often incomplete or ambiguous in the areas of policy in which science advice is most needed, he said.

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