Don’t Trust Me, I’m A Doctor

“Public trust in science is declining” is a common refrain – but it turns out that it isn’t true, or at best it’s complicated. In this episode we discuss whether, when, and why the public should trust science. Why is public trust in science important anyway? How should people decide whether to trust research they cannot technically evaluate? Should scientists avoid criticizing each other in public because it will erode our public image? What is a scientific consensus, when should you take one as a valid indicator, and when shouldn’t you? Plus: We answer a letter about preparing for the job market when you have focused your training on methods and skills rather than a coherent subject area.


The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license.

This is episode 43. It was recorded on September 27, 2018.