Reflexive philosophical dialogue about science, technology and society: tackling the post-truth condition

Lynda Dunlop, Joshua Stubbs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Global social networks have facilitated the proliferation - especially in relation to climate change - of views based on what people believe rather than the best available disciplinary knowledge. This post-truth condition is accentuated by inaccurate and misleading but popular perceptions of scientific evidence as the source of objective truth on the one hand, and the triumph of extreme skepticism which dismisses it altogether on the other. This polarization presents a risk to societies, especially as climate change becomes more extreme, and potential responses more reliant on new science and technologies. In this chapter, we argue that public philosophical
dialogue is necessary to achieve science and technology for society in a post-truth age. Through reflection on research with European youth on large-scale climate interventions, we illustrate the affordances of reflexive philosophical dialogue about science, technology and society. We argue that philosophical dialogue - an exchange of ideas focused on a search for meaning and truth - develops scientific and political criticality and engagement which is necessary to construct and deconstruct arguments and communicate sensitively through challenge, disagreement and disjuncture which counteracts the processes leading to polarization. Decisions about climate science and technology are made in a social and political context. Science can indicate potential
solutions but democractic decision-making requires reflexive, critically-informed public dialogue, and recognition of the strengths, limits and limitations of scientific knowledge and methods.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScience, technology and society for a post-truth age
Subtitle of host publicationComparative dialogues on reflexivity
EditorsEmine Öncüler Yayalar, Melike Şahinol
PublisherVernon Press
ISBN (Print)9781648897887
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • polarization
  • critical thinking
  • dialogue
  • post-truth
  • climate change

Cite this