Trumpism in Denmark

By Peter Lauritsen & Lars Bo Andersen

Denmark is known for having a strong democracy. We have high election turnouts, political transparency, widespread and profound trust in the public system, and a lively political debate facilitated by strong and nuanced medias.

However, we argue that there is a growing breeding ground for Trumpism in Denmark and would like to point out two reasons why.

Research and politics

The first is a weak relation between research and politics.

In many situations, it has become perfectly legitimate for politicians to ignore firmly established knowledge and to refer only to their ‘gut feeling’, when accounting for political measures. This is not a new trend. Many consider former Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s 2002 New Year’s address a milestone in this regard. In the speech, he announced that there was too many ‘taste panels’ for politics and that neither the people nor their politicians should allow themselves to be subdued by ‘lifted fingers’ from the ‘tyranny of experts’.

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“Reoxygenating” Research

By Laura G. Goetz

In a world in which politicians and media outlets are spreading “alternative facts,” detached objectivity may be an elusive and undesirable basis for a scientific gold standard. Context matters, both for the questions we ask and the answers we obtain. Separating science from society is no longer an option, because knowledge loses its power if people do not care about it. In Meeting the Universe Halfway, STS scholar Karen Barad asserts, “Matter(ing) is a dynamic articulation/configuration of the world.” Mattering requires explaining the world in a way that can move within the world. Scientific researchers need to think about the questions that matter and how to disseminate their results beyond the confines of academic journals and indices. Against calls for greater isolation, science should generate evidence-based knowledge that can travel more widely.

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