Trust must be earned, it cannot be demanded – even by scientists

To grow back trust in the internet age, scientists need to present not only facts and competence, but goodwill and humility, write Luke Drury and Maria Baghramian

Almost every day we seem to hear another lamentation about falling levels of trust in institutions, experts and science. The evidence behind those lamentations is surprisingly mixed, and suggests a more nuanced picture.

Empirical surveys show that general levels of trust have actually increased slightly over the last few decades in large parts of northern and central Europe, although they have declined in Mediterranean countries.

Yet the perception is that levels of trust ...