It sounds absurd that in the “Knowledge Society” we should struggle to defend fact-based science and research.

Here we are, all that talk about evidence-based learning, learning analytics, machine learning, big data and mining techniques. All those enormously hyped expectations that this will lead us to a better understanding of learning and learners, and, hence, to better and more customised learning opportunities. It was hailed as opening new insights not only into learning behaviours. And beyond learning, Big Data is now exploited in many ways to maximise customer experiences, space science, active citizenship, the economy, schools and universities, health, the environment, and so forth. It’s the new blueprint for an information and fact-based world, that’s sometimes too scary to think of.

Yet here we stand faced with post-truth politics where facts are worth nothing, rendering science and research useless. Fake news and the ignorance of science and its methodical approaches are killing the search for facts and figures, that drove much of the past decades towards the Knowledge Society. We have heard much about the changes in management culture away from anecdotal decision making to fact-based leadership. Well, it looks like the rumour mills are back in business.

Resistance comes from scientists and research professionals. The community is coming together and marches! There’s a bunch of activities to send out the message. But who will listen?! History tells us, that it’s no fair fight when science and facts meets rumours, propaganda, believes and outright denial. The demotion of knowledge is endangering and flattening our world… – until it becomes again a disk where we fall off either side!

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