21 September 2017

The Rise of Anti-Intellectualism

Some political pundits contend that a distrust of so-called elites helped drive President Trump’s victory in last year’s election. Survey data indicates that a growing number of Americans—particularly those who learn conservative—are skeptical of scientists and other academic experts. This week, a look at the history of anti-intellectual attitudes in modern American politics.

Guest: Matthew Motta, Political Science candidate at the University of Minnesota

  • Part 1 – 13:32

    Part 1
    Motta estimates that between 10 to 20 percent of people on the left hold anti-intellectual views, while on the right, the percentage is 20 to 30. His research shows those views played a significant role in the 2016 election and the rise of populist movements.
  • Part 2 – 13:02

    Part 2
    How should scientists and academics respond to the rise of mistrust of their fields? Motta says we need to think about ways that experts can communicate the objectivity in their research as well as show that experts share many of the same values as other Americans and are committed to using research to benefit society.