Scientifically based research in a post-truth era




scientifically based research, non-innocent science, governmentality, regime of truth


In this article, I explore the tension between the current political context in which science needs defending against anti-intellectualism and outright assaults on evidence as a means of decision-making on the one hand and the overzealous scientism that can result from backlash against a perceived lack of rigor in various forms of inquiry. To do so, I return to the emergence of the discourse of scientifically based research (SBR) in education and the debates surrounding it (2002-2013), which have implications for how and why educational researchers would advocate for science and what that advocacy might do. Specifically, I argue that we must have a science that does not allow alternative facts and politically expedient truth claims while still allowing science to be flexible, responsive, and theoretically informed. I conclude by advocating for theoretically informed activism and non-innocent science.


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Author Biography

Jessica Van Cleave, Mars Hill University

Jessica Van Cleave is an associate professor of education at Mars Hill University. Her research explores the intersection of poststructural theories, (post)qualitative inquiry, and educational policy.




How to Cite

Van Cleave, J. (2018). Scientifically based research in a post-truth era. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 26, 150.



Rethinking Education Policy and Methodology in a Post-truth Era