Image - Are Facts Dead?

PAST EVENT

Tom Nichols: Are Facts Dead?

Fake News. Fake Facts. All knowing proclamations on social media. Are we at a point in history where expertise is meaningless? Prompted by this very concern, Tom Nichols wrote The Death of Expertise. Nichols says people are now exposed to more information than ever before. He says that these societal gains, however, have also helped fuel a surge in narcissistic and misguided intellectual egalitarianism that has crippled informed debates on any number of issues. Today, everyone knows everything: With only a quick trip through WebMD or Wikipedia, average citizens believe themselves to be on an equal intellectual footing with doctors and diplomats. All voices, even the most ridiculous, demand to be taken with equal seriousness, and any claim to the contrary is dismissed as elitism. Nichols is even more concerned that the current rejection of expertise and learning will threaten the survival of our democracy. What has caused this, and what can be done about it? Join us for a thought-provoking discussion.

Notes

Nichols photo by Sara Cooney

The Commonwealth Club
555 Post St.
San Francisco, 94102
United States

Speakers
Image - Nichols
Tom Nichols
Professor of National Security Affairs, the U.S. Naval War College; Author, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters; Twitter @RadioFreeTom
In Conversation with Melissa Caen
Political Analyst, CBS Television San Francisco; Twitter @melissacaen1