Misunderstanding trust in science: a critique of the traditional discourse on science communication

part of Communicating science: trust and the new media ecology

Peter Weingart and Lars Guenther have written a short but nevertheless comprehensive stock-taking of science communication and the issue of trust. I fully agree with almost all of their theoretical and critical observations. My aim is to critically discuss the understanding of trust as expressed in the traditional discourse on science communication. From my point of view, this concept of trust in science reveals severe shortcomings. As a consequence, communication strategies following this concept could even jeopardize trust in science.