Sergio Sismondo, Professor of Philosophy, and Daryn Lehoux, Professor of Classics and Philosophy, have won a SSHRC Insight Grant for their project, "Epistemic Corruption" – one of the largest such grants at Queen’s this year. They will use it to bring together a dozen collaborators from a variety of fields to develop models of the corruption of knowledge systems.
In recent years, many people have loudly announced a crisis of authority, provoked especially by the spread of low-quality information, disinformation and distractions. Well-known cases include: manufactured ignorance about climate change, in which real and constructed doubts were amplified to challenge scientific certainty; some groups’ latching onto unproven remedies for Covid-19; general concerns about trust in both traditional and new sources of information, from newspapers and television to social media.
This crisis, if there is one, is closely connected to concerns about the corruption of knowledge systems, or “epistemic corruption”.
Lehoux, Sismondo and their collaborators will be asking questions such as: What can it mean for a system of knowledge production or dissemination to be called corrupt? How does a system appear to become corrupted, and by what kinds of actors and processes? What are typical competing claims about the integrity of a system?