Knowledge Resistance: Causes, Consequences, and Cures
The main objective of this interdisciplinary program is to investigate the nature and causes of knowledge resistance. We live in a world where we have increasingly sophisticated ways of acquiring and communicating knowledge, but at the same time, efforts to spread this knowledge often encounter resistance. Since knowledge has an important instrumental value, to the individual and to the society as a whole, knowledge resistance has consequences. For example, The World Health Organization lists skepticism about vaccines as one of the current top ten threats to world health, and climate skepticism has led important actors to resist the types of changes required to prevent irreversible climate catastrophes. Similarly, resistance to policy relevant knowledge, such as about crime or immigration, poses challenges for a democratic society.