Research Coffee with Daniela Lencéš Chalániová

1.33 and online

Research Coffee is a series of events aimed to be a platform for discussions about publications, projects, and working papers of AAU Faculty as well as AAU students. Prior registration is required for this event.

Our next session will be hosted by Mgr. Daniela Lencéš Chalániová, Ph.D. who will present “Trust us! We’re what you call ‘experts’”. Jacob Maze will join us as the discussant of the paper.

You can find the abstract of the paper below, but to receive the full paper and the link to the meeting, please register in advance. We look forward to seeing you!


It is my aim to argue in this essay, using the examples of climate change documentaries An Inconvenient Truth: A Global Warming (2006) and The Great Global Warming Swindle (2007), that what we are witnessing today is a challenge of the modern Western socio-political “regime of truth” by an emerging “regime of post-truth” capitalizing on inconsistencies within the modern épistémè. While it remains to be seen to what end this challenge will amount to, it might be useful to remember that different power/knowledge constellations with their own regimes of truth production have different implications for political action; the current socio-political order, firmly connected with representative forms of liberal democracy, is already under pressure from populist movements which prefer to play into popular moods rather than conform to expert opinion to gain political power.

This essay will proceed in four parts; the first part is dedicated to the myth of science and progress will introduce the post-WWII socio-political order legitimated by technologically driven wealth production, and the state of this order today; in the second part, I will outline beliefs and imaginations animating modern knowledge and truth production and introduce Foucaldian concepts of power/knowledge, truth regime and épistémè – practices, methods, apparatus for deciding about the truthfulness of scientificity of statements – to set the theoretical stage for problematization of scientific knowledge production. I will do so by addressing four knowledge production inconsistencies found at the fringes of épistémè/regime of truth (scientific progress and vexatious knowledge; postmodern criticism; uncertainty stemming from the idea of speaking for nature and necessary abstractions in research of complex dynamic nonlinear phenomena; and dishonest scam science) to show how they, on the one hand, enable scientific progress thus making the concurrent truth regime possible, however, on the other hand, the same inconsistencies open the door to the production of “alternative facts” thus creating the possibility for a different power/knowledge constellation. In the third section, I intend to try to sketch the battle lines between the modern “regime of truth,” its actors, institutions and political power, and the emerging “regime of post-truth.” In the fourth part, to drive my argument home, I will illustrate the two regimes and their épistémèsat work using the two film documentaries from the early 2000s (see above). What could be the consequences, I’ll leave to others to ponder; the goal of this essay is merely to sketch out the contours of a clash of two knowledge/power orders, focusing on their specific (post-)truth/knowledge production regimes using the example of climate change.