New PhD student at CFA

Simon Fuglsang is new PhD student at CFA

12.04.2021 | Line Kjær Vesterbæk

Simon Fuglsang

Simon Fuglsang. Foto: privat

I recently started my PhD at CFA researching distrust in science (science skepticism, anti-science attitudes, lack of confidence in science). 

The project builds on the public understanding of science and science communication literatures, which have produced a substantial amount of knowledge on the individual and (to a lesser degree) contextual predictors of public opinion of science. Additionally, I draw on theories from psychology and political science, to investigate a previously under-investigated set of predictors. 

Traditionally, public opinion of science is understood as a product of (lack of) science literacy, and conflicting worldviews such as religious views and ideological/partisan positions. The trend of remarking “declining trust in science” and explaining it with the aforementioned theories is especially popular. While the centrality of these explanations within the literature is understandable, and some research into other predictor (e.g. media, demographics) exists, understanding why some (groups of) people have low confidence in scientific communication still merits substantial exploration. I aim to contribute to this exploration by investigating “everyday predictors” of distrust in science. 

By this, I am specifically thinking of life satisfaction, affective states and social embeddedness as predictors of distrust in science. These factors are relevant to how individuals interact with society and authorities, and as such, I expect them to be relevant to how attitudes towards science are formed and how they fluctuate. 

(I also have some thoughts on looking into effects of science conduct, and doing research on data from somewhere else than NA and EU. But time is short, and this is getting long)

I was working as a RA at CFA before starting the PhD, and my masters and bachelors are from the department, so you might have seen me before. My supervisors are Niels Mejlgaard and Kim Mannemar Sønderskov. If you feel like discussing distrust in science, I would love to hear from you.