Mario Giampietro and Roger Strand on confronting uncomfortable knowledge

Listen on:

Policymakers, like the rest of us, construct narratives to understand how the world works and to justify decisions based on that. At their best, these are shaped by scientific evidence. But even the best-informed narratives must by definition leave something out — and when what is left out would challenge or undermine the narrative, this is ‘uncomfortable knowledge’.

Our guests today, Mario Giampietro and Roger Strand, argue that failure to confront uncomfortable knowledge in a variety of important areas is leading to existential problems for our democratic institutions. But is it possible to escape the death spiral — and what can science advisors try to do about it?

Resources mentioned in this episode

Latest podcasts

Salvatore Aricò on science advice at the United Nations

How might the future of science advice look at the global level? Will the establishment of a UN Group of Friends on Science for Action be the catalyst that elevates science advice to the highest levels of multilateral decision-making, and how will this complement the Secretary-General’s renewed scientific advisory board? And what should the role of the international science community be?

In this episode, Dr Salvatore Aricò, chief executive of the International Science Council, shares his experience and his vision with Toby Wardman, drawing on practical examples to illustrate how such science advice mechanisms work in practice.

Read More

to our newsletter