What We Believe

Listen 53:06
Illustration of beakers and laboratory science equipment with question marks

(Illustration by Maiken Scott)

“Trust the science!” It’s a phrase we’ve heard a lot during the pandemic. It’s come to mean things like “wear masks” or “get vaccinated,” but the phrase rubs many people the wrong way — including some scientists. One of the fundamental tenets of science is to be skeptical, and to keep digging deeper and deeper into a topic until something closer to the truth emerges. But sometimes it doesn’t emerge — sometimes we reach a deadlock, leading to fierce arguments in which both sides believe they have science on their side.

On this episode, we dig into science, trust, and why we believe what we believe. We hear about a controversial condition called Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), and what scientists say about its causes; we talk to science communicators about how we forge our beliefs, and what we mean when we say “trust science”; and we hear a science writer’s surprising take on Hollywood’s favorite conman, Frank Abagnale

Also heard on this week’s episode:

  • We talk with science communicator Sarah Habibi and researcher Nicole Krause about why we believe who we believe, and what determines people’s trust — or lack of trust — in science.

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