Does the Public Trust Science?

Trust_image_smallTrust and Confidence at the Intersections of the Life Sciences and Society

May 5-6, 2015
National Academy of Sciences
Washington, D.C.


The National Research Council’s Roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences hosted a 2-day workshop to explore the nuanced nature of trust in science – what the elements of trust are, and how trust is built, maintained, or lost.  Geared for life science researchers and the broader life science community, the workshop featured many scholars and journalists at the forefront of science communication, political science, and ethics. Workshop participants discussed what is meant by “trust in science” and how it relates to public engagement in the life sciences. Speakers examined the constituent components of trust, conditions in which public trust in science is broad, and conditions in which trust in science may be compromised. The workshop included breakout sessions for participants to explore the circumstances that constrain or enhance trust of life sciences issues and develop ideas for building, maintaining, or restoring trust

Workshop Organizers: Rick Borchelt, Department of Energy (co-chair); Molly Jahn, University of Wisconsin-Madison (co-chair),  Cynthia Beall, Case Western Reserve University; George Matsumoto, MBARI; Tiffany Lohwater, AAAS; Matthew Nisbet, Northeastern University; Ivan Oransky, Retraction Watch

The Roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was a multidisciplinary forum that ran from 2013 to 2015. Many of the discussions initiated during its workshops have continued in independent venues within and outside of the NASEM.

This website is no longer regularly updated

Please visit National Academies Press website for the most recent NASEM reports and workshop summaries on public engagement and science communication.