Science, Technology, and Society Seminar: STS Circle at Harvard (In Person)


Monday, September 19, 2022, 12:15pm to 2:00pm


CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Thomas Chan-Soo Kang Room (S050)

"Epistemic Polarization: Who Killed the Truth and Can We Resurrect It?"


Archon Fung, Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government, Harvard Kennedy School.


Sam Evans

Cosponsored by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.


For Americans to successfully face big, collective challenges such as threats from climate change, infectious disease, and even democracy itself, we have to reach some level of agreement on the causes, risks, and promising solutions to these problems. But far from agreement, Americans are deeply polarized regarding not just appropriate solutions, but even the bare facts about them. In this discussion, we’ll explore why the extent of disagreement seems greater now than in past decades, the causes of that disagreement, and some strategies to build stronger civic and political muscles to better learn from each other, about the challenges we face, and narrow our disagreements about the truth.


Archon Fung directs the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and is the Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. He examines policies and practices that aim to deepen the quality of democratic governance. He focuses upon public participation, deliberation, and transparency. His books include Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency (Cambridge University Press, with Mary Graham and David Weil) and Empowered Participation: Reinventing Urban Democracy (Princeton University Press). He has authored five books, four edited collections, and over one hundred articles appearing in professional journals. He served as Academic Dean of the Kennedy School from 2014-2018 and was its Acting Dean in 2015. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Lunch is provided if you RSVP via our online form by close of business on Thursday, September 19: