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EP 160: Professor Tom Nichols on the Death of Expertise and the Rise of American Ignorance

Tom Nichols is a professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, an adjunct professor in the Harvard Extension School, and a 5 time Jeopardy! champion. He’s a respected expert on national security, Russia, and nuclear proliferation, and he’s alarmed by Americans sudden rebuke of experts like himself, and the elevation of ignorance to some sort of virtue. He writes about it in a new book called The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters.

Today he discusses how colleges are fostering a society in which everyone’s opinion is treated as fact and how the internet is turning Americans into a bunch of ignorant “know-it-alls.” He talks about how fact checking sites like Snopes are fighting a losing battle against the tide of disinformation on the internet, he spells out how experts share part of the responsibility for the rebellion against knowledge, he talks about Donald Trump's professed "love" of "uneducated people," and how the embrace of ignorance could lead to an erosion of democracy in America. Plus, how to consume a balanced diet of news every day, and how to win at Jeopardy!

Order The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters on Amazon. You can visit Tom Nichols at and follow him on Twitter at @RadioFreeTom.

Today's podcast is sponsored by GoDaddy. Visit and enter our promo code "KICK30" to get 30% off a new domain.

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