The ugly truth

We want the best available knowledge and we want decisions to be based on it. We want to know what really works to prevent crime, whether the climate will warm by four degrees, who’s right about the cause of obesity and why bee populations are declining. People should get the truth, right? But evidence is messy and the true picture is often squashed by the certainty of campaigners, companies and politicians. Or lost in anxieties about what the public could handle.

At the 2015 Sense about Science lecture, held at the British Library, Tracey Brown talked about the nature of truth and uncertainty — themes which inform the core work of Sense about Science. A lively discussion following her lecture was chaired by Dr. Adam Rutherford.

Listen to Tracey Brown’s lecture, Science and Sensibility: on the untrustworthy nature of truth, Guardian podcast (2 Oct 2015)