Video: When Prophecy Flails

The Problem of Over-Confident Experts

National Association of Scholars

When the SARS-CoV-2 virus first appeared, many experts understated the threat. In March and April, during the debate on re-opening, these same experts have coalesced around the most hyperbolic disease modeling while ignoring similarly credentialed experts warning against overreaction.

Now, in June, the potential for a second wave of coronavirus is sending shocks through Wall Street, pocketbooks, and small businesses. The advice of experts is sure to guide public policy, but should they be entrusted with the power they’ve so far had?

This virtual event discussed how a self-governing republic can best use the expertise of specialists without becoming captive to their often blinkered views of public policy. Panelists included Julie Kelly, political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness; Roger Kimball, editor and publisher of The New Criterion and president and publisher of Encounter Books; Alexander Riley, professor of sociology at Bucknell University; and Sally Satel, M.D., resident scholar at AEI and the staff psychiatrist at a local methadone clinic in D.C. The discussion will be moderated by Peter W. Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars.

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