What do people trust? Whom do people trust? How is trust built?

VERITY four-module process

To find answers, the project moves through these four stages, starting with
surveys of existing research and citizen groups and finishing with the creation of the protocol of recommendations to build trust.

The end goal of the project is not only to build trust in scientific institutions, but also to encourage the alignment of scientific research with the public’s needs, expectations, and values.

VERITY Four-module Process Elements

Understanding Trust 
and Mistrust in Science:
A Multidisciplinary Approach

This stage begins with a systematic review of the literature and EU-funded projects across different disciplines, which will identify and categorize sources of trust and mistrust in science.

It also includes focus groups with EU citizens, designed to collect data and insights about the following areas: the scale, nature, and consequences of mistrust, strategies for science communication, and the challenges of science–society co-creation.

Understanding the ecosystem of trust and the role of the stewards of trust

VERITY will create a roadmap of the ecosystem of trust in science, presenting its structure and the factors influencing the behaviour of traditional and new stewards of trust.

To do so, researchers will consider the following elements: interconnections, feedback, systemic structure, behaviour, and scale, non-linear relationships, different types of stocks, flows, and variables, and modelling systems conceptually.

Investigating and evaluating strategies, tools, and methods to guide trust

VERITY will identify and evaluate different strategies, tools, and methods which can be used by stewards to tackle mistrust and increase confidence in scientific institutions, advice, and research.

This stage includes focus groups with stewards and civil society organisations to discuss which tools are most effective and identify strategies to better align research with societal needs.

Creating the Framework to Enhance Trust in Science

In the final stage, VERITY will create a comprehensive protocol of recommendations tailored to different stewards of trust, including those traditionally associated with science, such as universities, and newer actors in the trust ecosystem, such as social media companies.

The protocol will consider how these elements interact and obstacles to the application of recommendations, with the goal of enhancing European societal trust in science.