EVENT Sep 27
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Scientific Expertise, Communication and Trust (SECAT 2022)

Organization: Aarhus University
Categories: Digital Humanities, Interdisciplinary, Popular Culture, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy, Science
Event Date: 2022-09-27 to 2022-09-28 Abstract Due: 2022-05-15

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The Scientific Expertise, Communication and Trust (SECAT) conference, run by the (Mis)trust of Scientific Expertise research group at Aarhus University, will take place as a free, online international event.

Our aims with the conference are:

  • Knowledge sharing at the event: To provide a venue for researchers around the world who are interested in the communication of scientific knowledge and trust/mistrust to share ideas and connect; the online format for the conference was chosen to support equity and sustainability.
  • Publication after the event: To produce an open access, edited book based on selected papers from the conference.

Criteria for abstracts

Length of abstract should be no more than 250 words (excluding references, which are optional), and up to five keywords.

Publication possibility, after abstract acceptance

If your abstract is accepted, you will, when registering for the conference (deadline 1st September), be asked to indicate your interest in the possibility of developing your abstract into a chapter for an open access edited book.

Global challenges and local perspectives

This conference provides a platform for critical scholarly engagement on matters relating to science, communication and trust. SECAT provides scholars with the opportunity to focus on these topics, especially as the last few years have brought matters relating to science, communication and trust to the forefront of our lives.

Legacy and social media in the 2020s have been dominated by narratives about the pandemic and climate change. These existential threats have highlighted humanity’s indebtedness to scientific knowledge, as well as the importance and relevance of science communication, and the significance of values and culture for science. 

Although such risks are global, their effects are uneven and are experienced locally, posing moral questions about social justice. How can one communicate about science in ways that promote trust and foster engagement?

This conference encourages critical exploration of the topics of science, communication and trust from different disciplinary angles. It recognizes the central importance of context, encouraging contributions from scholars around the world.  

What kind of topics are relevant?

We welcome contributions that are empirical, theoretical and/or methodological in nature and that relate to the conference themes of science, communication and trust. Topics of interest include the following (NB: other topics relating to the conference themes are also welcome):

Scientific knowledge and expertise

  • The evolving scientific expert
  • The cultural authority of scientific expertise and other forms of knowing
  • Discourses of scientific expertise
  • Communicating science online – discourses, narratives and visualisations
  • Contextualised or context-sensitive science
  • Methodological approaches to the analysis of science communication
  • The role of the media and social media in communicating scientific knowledge
  • Mediated communication of science topics where trust may be at stake, e.g., climate change, vaccines, Covid-19, GMO crops, etc.
  • Values and scientific knowledge
  • Ethical issues in science communication

Communicating with publics

  • Evolving paradigms of science communication
  • Promoting dialogues with publics
  • The role of values when communicating with publics
  • Science communication for more just societies
  • Media and public engagement (e.g., in climate science)
  • Social media and public participation in science
  • Grassroots initiatives
  • Challenges/success stories of public engagement
  • The ethics of public engagement 


  • Epistemic trust and mistrust 
  • Promoting trust in science
  • Trusting the science communicator/trusting publics
  • Trust/mistrust of science as a cultural phenomenon, including national/local aspects and cultural values
  • Viral qualities of mistrust, including conspiracy theories
  • Measuring public trust and mistrust of science
  • Methodological approaches to analysing discourses, narratives and visualisations of trust/mistrust of science 
  • Ethics relating to trust and mistrust of science

A free conference and networking opportunities: Thanks to the online format, the conference will be free. We will hold activities to ensure that participants have good opportunities for networking. To maximise interaction, individual presentations will last 10 minutes and will be followed by a 10-minute discussion.



Helene Josephine Duun