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Op Ed from GLG CEO Paul Todd: Expertise can help save us from Covid-19 — if we use it right

STAT

May 06, 2020

By Paul Todd, CEO of GLG

Not that long ago I read a book about the death of expertise. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, it feels like the book was written for a different world.

Today, everyone is desperate for reliable information. We want to know how the virus spreads, what new treatments might be effective against it, how long until we have a vaccine, and how to get the economy going again. And we want answers from people who really know what they’re talking about.

Yet the anti-expertise sentiment that was brewing before Covid-19 struck is still with us. Having vast amounts of information available at our fingertips is empowering. But there’s a flip side: data and information can be manipulated to mislead or flat out deceive. Disregarding expertise is a mainstay of arguments on the fringe (that vaccinating kids is unsafe) and in the mainstream (that climate change doesn’t exist). Why should we listen to experts telling us things we don’t want to hear if we can find facts that refute them, no matter how sketchy they might be?

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