Public expertise and freedom of expression

The project (2018–2020) analyzes hidden forms of suppression and self-censorship in the academia, particularly related to the public roles of scientists as experts.

The media have become an important arena where struggles over the symbolic legitimacy of expert authority take place and where scientific experts increasingly have to compete for public recognition of their expertise, authority and credibility. Recently the cultural authority of science and science-based expertise has been challenged to the extent that the present time has been termed the post-truth and post-factual era.

This new political climate, the rise of authoritarian and populist leaders in many countries and the growing importance of social media have fueled criticism against established scientific institutions and individual researchers. Public disparagement of expertise, online harassment and even hate speech has left researchers and academics insecure: some feel that it is better to shut up.

The project analyses the data from three web surveys conducted among Finnish researchers in 2015, 2017 and 2019 on “harassment experienced by researchers in expert roles”. The survey will be renewed in 2019. Further, we have complemented this data with interviews among ‘visible’ scientists in environmental research.

 

Väliverronen, Esa & Saikkonen, Sampsa (2020) Freedom of Expression Challenged: Scientists’ Perspectives on Hidden Forms of Suppression and Self-Cencorship. Science, Technology & Human Values. Open Access.

Väliverronen, Esa (2020) Academic Freedom Under Threat. Public Understanding of Science blog.

Väliverronen, Esa & Ekholm, Kai (eds.) (2020) Tieteen vapaus ja tutkijan sananvapaus. Tampere: Vastapaino 2020.

  • Väliverronen, Esa & Ekholm, Kai (2020) Vapaan ajattelun tila kaventuu maailmalla. In Väliverronen, Esa & Ekholm, Kai (eds.) Tieteen vapaus ja tutkijan sananvapaus. Tampere: Vastapaino 2020, 7–23.
  • Väliverronen, Esa (2020) Tieteen vapauden ja tutkijan sananvapauden yhteiskunnallinen merkitys. In Väliverronen, Esa & Ekholm, Kai (eds.) Tieteen vapaus ja tutkijan sananvapaus. Tampere: Vastapaino 2020, 25–58.
  • Väliverronen, Esa & Saikkonen, Sampsa (2020) ”Tutkijat vaikenevat itsesuojeluvaistonsa perusteella” – kokemuksia tieteen vapauden ja sananvapauden uhkista. In Väliverronen, Esa & Ekholm, Kai (eds.) Tieteen vapaus ja tutkijan sananvapaus. Tampere: Vastapaino 2020, 283–318.

Väliverronen, Esa (2019) Tieteen vapauden ja tutkijan sananvapaudet ongelmat yhä näkyvämpiä. Tieteessä tapahtuu, 37 (4), 1–5. Open Access.