The Death of Expertise. Really?
1 May 2019
This page is a special place where I share with you my favourite things, my inspirations, and my stances on various topics. This week, I thought I’d talk to you about the book I’m currently reading, THE DEATH OF EXPERTISE by Tom Nichols.
Will expertise become unfashionable? Faced with the fact that technology is constantly changing the way things are done and that knowledge quickly becomes outdated, do young people still value the opinions of their elders? I’ve been thinking about these two things for quite a while and, over the course of the last few years, I’ve spoken about them with people from all walks of life. Then, recently, my son-in-law lent me this book by Tom Nichols, which confirmed exactly how I felt the landscape had been shifting for the over 50s…
The generational gap is a glaring reality in today’s business world. Younger generations tend to overlook intrapreneurs and job candidates aged 50 and over on the grounds that they are out-of-touch or too old. Where we previously turned to our experienced and knowledgeable elders for answers, they turn to technology and Google.
Today’s younger generation works with information technology and artificial intelligence so skillfully that it sometimes forgets about the fundamental importance of human relationships. Graduates are leaving university with a tremendous amount of knowledge, but no real-world experience. This is where coaches and mentors can play a vital role. I firmly believe that this blend of technological skill and expert knowledge is the solution.
Thankfully, I feel that the younger generation is becoming aware of the issue, as the number of requests for coaches and mentors is constantly on the rise. We’re trying to bridge the gap with experience-based human collaborations.
Tom Nichols examines a hot topic in the United States where people reject the idea that experts know more than anyone else. In his book, he describes six factors that cause this phenomenon, including the instant and unlimited access to information via the internet, and the shifting media landscape. His work on the subject dates back to 2014 when he published an article in The Federalist. The Death of Expertise expands on said article and is based on in-depth research. It was published by Oxford University Press in 2017.
The Death of Expertise. The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters, Tom Nichols, Oxford University Press, 2017, 252 pages.