Learning to live with the madness

Distrust in authority is the fundamental reason for low vaccination rates across eastern Europe. But we shouldn’t think of anti-science as the expression of mere ignorance, nor primarily as a grass-roots movement.

Rejecting science is not so much a grass-roots movement, says Péter Krekó, in conversation with Réka Kinga Papp, as it is a position based on political affiliation. While acknowledging that the excessive mystification of scholarly knowledge and the natural sciences can harm the democratization of these fields, Krekó argues that tackling anti-science requires investigation too. Perhaps disinformation and junk science cannot be eradicated, but critical skills can help navigate an accelerated digital media environment.

This episode of Gagarin is also available as an extended version with bonus material for Eurozine patrons. In the full conversation, we look into what effect vaccine debates will have on the upcoming Hungarian elections, and whether there is an antidote to junk science and bogus commercial undertakings.

Click to access the bonus material with Péter Krekó on Patreon. Photo by tiburi on Pixabay.

Péter Krekó is director of the Budapest-based think tank Political Capital Institute, Hungary. He is also a former Europe’s Futures Fellow of Eurozine’s long-time collaborator, the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna. He has written extensively for Eurozine on conspiracy theories and disinformation, and their implications for the pandemic.

Find Péter Krekó’s latest article, ‘Mutations of science in the pandemic in Eurozine, along with his previous articles dealing with disinformation, social psychology and more.

Please subscribe to the podcast and leave a review so more people can find us. You can also subscribe to our newsletter, so you’ll always know what’s worth thinking about.

Published 11 February 2022
Original in English


Subscribe to know what’s worth thinking about.

Related Articles

Cover for: The story of the Sputnik V vaccine

The story of the Sputnik V vaccine

Vaccine nationalism and Cold War tropes abound

Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine could be one of the most effective jabs available. Yet, its media coverage in the West has revived Cold War stereotypes. Vladimir Putin has also triggered suspicions. Nevertheless, the medical legacy from the Soviet era has prepared researchers precisely for such emergencies.

Cover for: Semblance of normality

Semblance of normality

Wespennest 180 (2021)

‘Wespennest’ contemplates normality in its various guises: how can abnormal behaviour have become acceptable; what lies behind the ‘new normal’ and flattening coronavirus-induced curves; and whether the aspiration of a newly equitable norm is just wishful thinking.