Joe Public, Will You Marry Me?

Podcast: The Black Goat (LS 42 · TOP 1.5% what is this?)
Episode: Joe Public, Will You Marry Me?
Pub date: 2020-04-01

In recent years there has been a lot of talk about public trust in science – how much there is, in what ways, whether we deserve it or not. In this episode, we discuss an article by historian and philosopher Rachel Ankeny that asks whether “trust” is even the right concept to be talking about. What does it mean to trust an abstraction like “science”? When people argue about trust in science, are they even talking about the same thing – the findings, the people, the process, or something else? And we discuss Ankeny’s proposed alternative: that instead of the public’s trust, scientists should be seeking out engagement. What would an engagement model looks like? How would engagement benefit the public? How would it benefit science? And what about people who just wouldn’t want to engage? Plus: We answer a letter from someone who likes, but doesn’t love, teaching, and wants to know if that’s good enough for academia.


The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at [email protected]. You can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.

This is episode 77. It was recorded on March 26, 2020.

The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.