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The Crisis of Expertise and the Impact on the COVID-19 Pandemic (October 15, 2020)

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

On this installment of the“This Is It!” livestream of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition, Professor Jennifer Daryl Slack of Michigan Technological University addressed what has been called “the crisis of expertise” in American culture, in which the value and advice of “experts,” most notably in the sciences, are increasingly being challenged and disregarded. She spoke about the different kinds of challenges to expertise, the sources of these challenges, and their implications, particularly with respect to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. She also considered a strikingly odd feature of this crisis: challenges to expertise are arising in tandem with an increasing reliance on science and technology in American culture.

(Further information on MTU perspectives on Covid-19 and the crisis of expertise.)

Our guest

Slack is Director of the Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture and Distinguished Professor of Communication and Cultural Studies at MTU. She has been a professor at Michigan Tech for 32 years, where she has conducted research and taught primarily on technology and culture, cultural theory, creativity, and media. Her recent work has been on the role of algorithms in culture. She is also a pastel painter and an active member of the arts community.


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