In the weeks following the U.S. presidential election, many members of the STS scholarly community (like many other communities) have been reeling from the results. The characterization of this election and electoral trends abroad as “post-truth politics” has placed questions of knowledge and power back in the center of public attention. Meanwhile in the media, and through other public discourses, specific narratives about the meaning of this election, have already become entrenched, many focusing on certain unproblematized assumptions such as the acceleration of technology’s relation to trends in employment, the rejection of expertise and truth, or the triumph of emotion over reason. As a field centrally concerned with the authority of epistemic institutions and the epistemics of authoritative institutions, STS sees the current decrying of a crisis of both expertise and a stable political order as an opportunity to question what has been taken for granted in the operation of knowledge societies, and observe how the legitimacy of knowledge-claims has always been part and parcel of the legitimacy of political claims.
Taking the traditional American benchmark of the First 100 Days of a new administration as critical in defining its vision of governance, we have launched a writing campaign to follow this period in the establishment of the Trump administration. This regularly updated blog will feature posts from the broad STS community that analyze and challenge the narratives of both normalization and disruption which are being put forward by the new administration or the discourses that surround it. Drawing from an international community of scholars, this blog will also feature perspectives outside the U.S. and will trace how the notion of “post-truth politics” has traveled. The main aim is to bring scholarship into closer conversation with practice, and create allowances for imagining different futures by critically reflecting on our present moment.
If you would like to contribute to the blog, please see our Call for Posts.
Kasper Hedegård Schiølin
This blog is a part of the “Expertise and Public Trust Project” which seeks—in this politically disruptive moment—to further our understanding of the interplay between knowledge and power, politics and policy, knowing the world and making the world. For more information about this project, visit sts.hks.harvard.edu/expertise-public-trust