For all of my many years in the communications business, one truism has remained unshakeable: to communicate technical, complex information, use experts.
People in white lab coats, or in front of chalk boards / computers screens, or with safety goggles shouting above robotic factories or chemical plants.
This seemed obvious.
Who else would be credible to discuss new cancer treatments, or macroeconomic theory, or nuclear fusion? I definitely wouldn't believe an idiot like me.
Things may be different now.
Here's an excerpt from an upcoming book - The Death of Expertise - that tracks one of the many and more troubling social divisions riving western democracies: the widening gulf between those who know a lot about specific things ("experts") and those who do not ("the public").
Looking forward to reading it.
This is more than a natural skepticism toward experts. I fear we are witnessing the death of the ideal of expertise itself, a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laypeople, students and teachers, knowers and wonderers—in other words, between those of any achievement in an area and those with none at all.