Sydney Initiative for Truth | Truth decay: exploring the diminishing role of facts and analysis
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Truth decay: exploring the diminishing role of facts and analysis

There is increasing disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations of facts in both Australia and the United States. While this trend is not unprecedented in history, the level of disagreement over objective facts and the declining trust in formerly respected sources of facts is a new phenomenon.

The non-partisan RAND Corporation is currently studying “truth decay” — the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life.

RAND’s President and CEO Michael Rich – whose report on truth decay was on former US President Barack Obama’s summer reading list – will join United States Studies Centre CEO Professor Simon Jackman, the ABC’s John Barron and one of the leaders of the University of Sydney’s Post Truth Initiative, Nick Enfield for a panel looking at truth decay.

This event is jointly presented by the USSC and RAND Australia


  • Michael D. Rich

Michael D. Rich is president and chief executive officer of the RAND Corporation.

  • Professor Simon Jackman
Chief Executive Officer, United States Studies Centre

Simon Jackman commenced as CEO of the US Studies Centre in April 2016. He was previously a Professor of Political Science and Statistics at Stanford University. Jackman’s teaching and research centres on public opinion, election campaigns, political participation, and electoral systems with special emphasis on American and Australian politics.

  • John Barron
Honorary Associate, United States Studies Centre

John Barron is an Honorary Associate at the US Studies Centre, anchor of “Planet America” on ABC-TV and author of the book “Vote For Me” about the 2008 Presidential campaign. He has produced political documentary films including “First Stop Iowa” about the history of the Democratic Party primary process and “The Party of Reagan” about the disputed legacy of a conservative icon – a film which was made with the assistance of the US Studies Centre.

  • Professor Nick Enfield
Professor Nick Enfield is professor of linguistics at the University of Sydney and director of the Sydney Social Science and Humanities Advanced Research Centre. He is head of a Research Excellence Initiative on The Crisis of Post-Truth Discourse.


  • Professor Lisa Bero
Professor Lisa Bero is a pharmacologist and researcher in evidence-based health care who is internationally renowned for her studies on the integrity of clinical and basic research evidence that is used to influence health policy, and the manner in which evidence is communicated to key groups such as physicians, policy-makers, journalists and the community.She directs the multidisciplinary Evidence, Policy and Influence Collaborative, and leads the Bias and Research Integrity Nodeand the Evidence Synthesis node at the Charles Perkins Centre. Prior to joining the University of Sydney in 2014, she was Professor at the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California San Francisco (UCSF).

August 22 @ 18:00
18:00 — 19:30 (1h 30′)

Abercrombie Business School University of Sydney NSW Australia 2006, Refectory Level 5

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