Aarhus University Seal

New article by Kristian H. Nielsen (with Antoinette Fage-Butler and Loni Ledderer): "Public trust and mistrust of climate science: A meta-narrative review"

Public Understanding of Science, OnlineFirst, August 10, 2022


This systematic meta-narrative literature review aims to explore the narratives of trust evident in literature on public (mis)trust relating to climate science published up until May 2021, and to present the main findings from these papers. We identified six narratives of trust: attitudinal trust, cognitive trust, affective trust, contingencies of trust, contextual trust and communicated trust. The papers’ main findings spanned theoretical conclusions on the importance of positionality to trust and morality to trustworthiness, to qualitative findings that the scientific community was mainly trusted, to quantitative findings that explored how trust functioned as an independent, dependent or mediating variable. This literature review sheds important light on the interrelationship between climate science and publics, highlights areas for further research, and in its characterisation of trust narratives provides a language for conceptualising trust that can further interdisciplinary engagement.