Understanding the Problem of “Hype”: Exaggeration, Values, and Trust in Science

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Cambridge University Press


Several science studies scholars report instances of scientific “hype,” or sensationalized exaggeration, in journal articles, institutional press releases, and science journalism in a variety of fields (e.g., Caulfield and Condit 2012). Yet, how “hype” is being conceived varies. I will argue that hype is best understood as a particular kind of exaggeration, one that explicitly or implicitly exaggerates various positive aspects of science in ways that undermine the goals of science communication in a particular context. This account also makes clear the ways that value judgments play a role in judgments of “hype,” which has implications for detecting and addressing this problem.



hype, science communication, values in science, trust, inductive risk


Intemann, K. (2022). Understanding the Problem of “Hype”: Exaggeration, Values, and Trust in Science. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 52(3), 279-294. doi:10.1017/can.2020.45
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