Truth Decay: Why Americans are turning away from facts

Is that a fact?

Nov 11 2020 • 32 mins


Our guest this week is Jennifer Kavanagh, a senior political scientist at RAND corporation, a nonprofit global public policy think tank. Our host spoke to Kavanagh about a phenomenon she and her colleagues have dubbed “Truth Decay.” We wanted to know why truth has been under assault in recent years, why Americans are increasingly rejecting the expertise of institutions we used to hold in high esteem and what we can do about it?

Kavanagh is the director of the Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program in the RAND Arroyo Center and a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. Her research focuses on U.S. defense strategy, international conflict and military interventions, disinformation, and the relationship between U.S. political and media institutions. She co-authored Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life.

Coming up: Join us on November 18 at 5:30 p.m. EST for our final episode, which we’ll be recording live on Zoom, featuring Jane Lytvynenko of BuzzFeed News, Joan Donovan of the Shorenstein Center at Harvard and Enrique Acevedo of 60 Minutes’ new show 60 in 6. Our panel of experts will offer insights about how mis-and dis-information impacted the election. For details, visit newslit.org.