“What role do experts play in influencing our consumption or acquisition of knowledge?”

People more often than not would choose to trust scientists and experts in that field of knowledge, to the average person. This is because they have years of knowledge and education in their certain field of study, leading many to believe that they are more trustworthy than others. However, this can be misleading.

We are often taught that it is important to use information and evidence from reliable trustworthy sources. In many cases, this can be the right thing to do. Because they are more educated, it is normal to believe and trust their provided information. At the same time, it is sometimes important to also question and think about the provided piece of information.

Much of science and knowledge we know now, was discovered a long time ago. This can be before periods where people had a different way of thinking than we do now. For example, racism and gender equality. Because of this, many articles and pieces of information written in that period of time can often be biased towards people in positions of power and authority. An example of this would be National Geographic. National Geographic can be seen as a reliable source of information with many experts and scientists working towards making their information as factual and as correct as possible. Even with this, National Geographic has had a history of racism and presenting one race as superior or inferior to others. They would often dramatise and present “native Africans” as exotic and savage, while presenting “white Americans” as superior to others. Though this may have been widely accepted and tolerated back then, as the times change, people begin to understand what is correct and what is not. And people learn from their past mistakes and correct them to make sure they do not happen again.

Especially with history, scientists and people of power may tend to present certain groups of people in a positive light, and others in a negative light. It is important that we stay vigilant and aware of the knowledge we consume (even when they are provided by experts), and use our common sense to determine what is right and what isn’t.

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