A New Dark Age? Truth, Trust, and Environmental Science

Torbjørn Gundersen, Donya Alinejad, Teresa Branch Smith, Bobby Duffy, Kirstie Hewlett, Cathrine Holst, Susan Owens, Folco Panizza, Silje Tellmann, Maria Tellmann, José van Dijck, Maria Baghramian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This review examines the alleged crisis of trust in environmental science and its impact on public opinion, policy decisions in the context of democratic governance, and the interaction between science and society. In an interdisciplinary manner, the review focuses on the following themes: the trustworthiness of environmental science, empirical studies on levels of trust and trust formation; social media, environmental science, and disinformation; trust in environmental governance and democracy; and co-production of knowledge and the production of trust in knowledge. The review explores both the normative issue of trustworthiness and empirical studies on how to build trust. The review does not provide any simple answers to whether trust in science is generally in decline or whether we are returning to a lessenlightened era in public life with decreased appreciation of knowledge and truth. The findings are more nuanced, showing signs of both distrust and trust in environmental science.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-29
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual Review of Environment and Resources
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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