THE TERMS “NATIONAL SECURITY” OR “CYBER-SECURITY” MAY BE FAMILIAR – BUT WHAT ABOUT “EPISTEMIC SECURITY”? IF SOCIETIES LOSE IT, THEY WILL STRUGGLE TO TACKLE SOME OF THE MOST WORRYING CRISES OF THE 21ST CENTURY, FROM PANDEMICS TO CLIMATE CHANGE.
(extract from BBC Future)
If home security is about making sure our possessions are safe, financial security is about keeping our money safe, national security is about keeping our country safe, then epistemic security is about keeping our knowledge safe.
Episteme is a Greek philosophical term, meaning “to know”. Epistemic security therefore involves ensuring that we do in fact know what we know, that we can identify claims that are unsupported or not true, and that our information systems are robust to “epistemic threats” such as fake news.
In our report, we explore the potential countermeasures and areas of research that may help preserve epistemic security in democratic societies. But in this article, let’s look at four key trends that have exacerbated the problem, and made it increasingly difficult for societies to respond to pressing challenges and crises: