NPR

Why Expertise Matters

We need to become insistent on the value of knowing things — and the value of recognizing when others know what we do not, says astrophysicist Adam Frank.
Source: Getty Images/iStockphoto

I am an expert — a card-carrying, credential-bearing expert.

Of course, there are only a few hundred people on the planet who care about the thing I'm an expert on: the death of stars like the sun. But, nonetheless, if the death of stars like the sun is something you want to know about, I'm one of the folks to call. I tell you this not to brag or make my mom proud, but because expertise has been getting a bad rap lately. It's worth a moment of our time to understand exactly why this "death of expertise" is happening — and what it means for the world.

The attack on expertise was given its most visceral form by British politician Michael Gove during the Brexit campaign last year

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