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Global series: the post-truth era

Global series: the post-truth era

No word quite describes the strange political times we live in like “post-truth”. Politicians lie with impunity, rogue media outlets push fake news while legitimate ones get accused of doing the same, the scientific method is in crisis and online conspiracy theorists are picking up guns.

How do we make sense of it all? Here’s our selection of expert views on the brave new world of alternative facts.


How storytelling explains world politics, from Spain to the US

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

What do Nelson Mandela, Chairman Mao and Spanish politician Pablo Iglesias have in common with Donald Trump? They’re all master storytellers, who use convenient narratives – replete with plots, heroes and battles of good versus evil – to win over citizens.

There’s a word for studying the post-truth world: agnotology

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Given the state of news today, there’s never been greater need to study what we don’t know – and figure out why we’re not supposed to know it.

To tackle the post-truth world, science must reform itself

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Scientists must bear some responsibility for the post-truth era and the current crisis in democracy. How will the field respond?

India has been a post-truth society for years (and maybe the West has too)

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Only privileged English-speaking Westerners can think that “post-truth” emerged in 2016. India, the world’s largest democracy has long been a world leader in post-truth politics.

Science wars in the age of Donald Trump

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Is the election of Donald Trump going to reignite a futile war between science and anti-science, aggravating an already polarised state of affairs?

Teaching and learning in a post-truth world

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

University educators today face new challenges, with students who are surrounded by a broader spectrum of ideologies and beliefs than ever. How can educators face the new challenges brought by today’s alt-right and post-truth environment?

From the sugar scam to Brexit, our faith in experts is fading

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Research quality-control processes are under fire and science is in crisis. Scientists should think about changing the rules and extending their peer communities