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The face-to-face principle: science, trust, democracy and the internet

Collins, Harold ORCID:, Evans, Robert ORCID:, Innes, Martin ORCID:, Kennedy, Eric B., Mason-Wilkes, Will and McLevey, John 2022. The face-to-face principle: science, trust, democracy and the internet. Cardiff: Cardiff University Press. 10.18573/book7

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Remote communication is replacing face-to-face interaction in ways that could be disastrous for democracy and for the idea of truth. This book shows why face-to-face communication still matters and why it is essential for the survival of pluralist democracies. The nature of face-to-face interactions in small groups and society as a whole, and from primary socialisation to specialist training, is examined via examples including field studies, network analysis, blockchain and the malicious use of disinformation. The deep trust that face-to-face enables is contrasted with the ‘illusion of intimacy’ created by remote communication. The example of science is particularly important. As the institution most directly concerned with creating truth, it demonstrates the essential role of face-to-face interaction in the creation of knowledge and the values that are needed to sustain this. In protecting and promoting democracy, the challenge is relearning how to trust scientific experts and the other elite institutions that form the essential checks and balances of democratic society. Here we offer the simple rule: trust expert institutions that depend on small group interaction and that endorse the values of pluralist democracy.

Item Type: Book
Book Type: Authored Book
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Crime and Security Research Institute (CSURI)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Publisher: Cardiff University Press
ISBN: 9781911653332
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 May 2022
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 07:46

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