The Democracy and Trust Program explores the forms of trust on which modern democratic societies depend and the concomitant crises of trust in our current moment.  The program has a broad remit, encompassing the changing conditions of trust (and mistrust) in our people, our institutions, and in science and expertise.  It supports research and programs that seek to better understand how trust emerges and is sustained and how it can be strongly constructed where it is weak.  Recent efforts by the Assembly include large-scale online conversations designed to mitigate the “epistemic crisis” in journalism (the Civic Assembly), new strategies for aggregating academic expertise and representing it to the public (the Open Syllabus Project), and research on the “algorithmic governance” of public discourse (the Takedown Project).  At INCITE, recent efforts include research on the cognitive neuroscience of the signatures of trust relations, friendship, and the like, and a Columbia University seminar on the conditions of trust and mistrust in science.  Future work will retain this breadth and openness to new ideas while focusing on innovative ways to impact public conversations.


Projects