Expertise in the digital age
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleFTR-FIPPSB310
Credits (ECTS)5
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies; Opleiding Filosofie;
dr. H.J.H. Ghijsen
Other course modules lecturer
dr. H.J.H. Ghijsen
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. H.J.H. Ghijsen
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2020
SEM2  (25/01/2021 to 29/08/2021)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
After this course you will be able to:
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different conceptions of science;
  • apply that knowledge to specific societal debates;
  • argue for a specific position with regard to the question of why we should trust science;
  • present your own expertise to a non-expert audience.
Our current day and age of digitalization offer us tremendous possibilities with regard to scientific discovery, development and exchange. At the same time, the same digital developments have also been important in the rise of conspiracy theories, fake news, and alternative facts. It seems that ever more people start to view scientific theories as just one other opinion among many, and there even appears to be distrust of scientific experts and science as a whole. These developments really call for a good answer to the question “Why trust science?”, which is exactly what this course will be about.


Presumed foreknowledge

Test information
Final essay and in-class presentations
This course is part of a three course module in the Philosophy, Politics and Society bachelor programme. Students can only be admitted if they also take the two associated courses during the same semester (retakes excluded). Students who are NOT enrolled in a bachelor, master, or exchange programme of the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious studies or in a bachelor programme of the Faculty of Arts cannot register directly for PPS modules. Instead, they can apply for admission by sending an e-mail to Such applications must contain a separate document in which you (1) inform us about your current studies, (2) explain which module you want to take and why it is relevant to your studies, and (3) describe what you bring to the classroom. The document must be written in English.
Required materials
Title:Why Trust Science?
Author:Oreskes, Naomi
Publisher:Princeton University Press, 2019

Instructional modes
Lecture and seminar

Test weight1
Test typePaper
OpportunitiesBlock SEM2, Block SEM2