Commentary gives RAND researchers a platform to convey insights based on their professional expertise and often on their peer-reviewed research and analysis. RAND experts publish hundreds of pieces of commentary every year, weighing in on pressing policy questions, breaking down current events, and untangling complex trends.
RAND rounded up the RAND Blog pieces that resonated most with their readers. Number 7 on the list: The Diminishing Role of Facts in American Public Life, by Michael Rich and Jennifer Kavanagh.
In U.S. political and civil discourse, disagreement over facts appears to be greater than ever. RAND researchers call this phenomenon “Truth Decay.”
As Kavanagh and Rich highlight, having the types of meaningful policy debates that form the foundation of democracy is nearly impossible without agreement about objective facts and respect for data and analysis.
So what can be done to rebuild public confidence in factual information and rigorous analysis? To start, society needs to commit to the crucial work of restoring respect for those facts—and shoring up the ability to recognize them.
Michael D. Rich is president and CEO of RAND. Jennifer Kavanagh is a political scientist at RAND. This commentary originally appeared on USA Today on January 16, 2018. Commentary gives RAND researchers a platform to convey insights based on their professional expertise and often on their peer-reviewed research and analysis.
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