Expert Bites

Introducing Expert Bites

Two narratives about expertise dominate public discourse. According to the first, experts are everywhere, they command important shares of public attention and have an increasingly important role in advising policymakers. According to the other narrative, we are witnessing an unprecedented crisis of expertise, associated with the rise of populist movements and increasing distrust of scientific knowledge.

As part of the Expertise Under Pressure (EUP) research project we are hosting regular informal meetings called “expert bites” with people who have or have had an active role as experts, who are studying expertise, or both. The purpose of these is to understand the practical challenges experts face when giving advice to decision makers.

Guest speakers will represent a wide range of disciplines, from climate science to behavioural economics, allowing us to see how experts in different fields experience, conceive, and reflect on the pressure they face in the contemporary world. The discussions will be used to reflect on experts’ concrete experiences, including their successes and failures. After each ‘expert bite’ session, a blog post by one of the research associates will summarise the key points that emerged from the meeting. Alongside this, four questions about expertise will be circulated to each speaker focusing on 1) what makes a good expert in their field of work or research, 2) what problems experts face, 3) whether the perception of experts has changed over time and 4) whether they envisage any future changes in the way expertise functions.


Martin Millett (Classical Archaeology, University of Cambridge)

Lisa Stampnitzky (Politics, University of Sheffield)


Previous Expert Bites Seminars

Bill Byrne (Information Engineering, University of Cambridge), 7 November  2019

Alice Vadrot (Political Science, University of Vienna), 21 June 2019

Arsenii Khitrov (Sociology, University of Cambridge), 22 May 2019

Elizabeth Anderson (Philosophy, University of Michigan), 15 May 2019

Mike Hulme (Geography, University of Cambridge), 26 March 2019

Alfred Moore (Politics, University of York), 28 November 2018