For our democratic system to work, our leaders, institutions (both public and private), and citizens need to value facts and truthfulness. In recent years, however, we have witnessed mass disagreements over what is true and how to separate fact from fiction. We’ve also learned the consequences can be deadly. The Levin Center is sponsoring a three-part series of panels to delve more deeply into how facts become established in the public mind and how truthfulness might be restored to our public discourse.
Our first panel, on May 19th, “Pursuing Factual Consensus: What Does ’Truth’ Mean in the Public Square?” heard from three academics discussing how political polarization, social media, and disinformation efforts have made it more difficult for Americans to determine what is true and what is false.
Our second panel, coming up on July 21st, will hear from three former Senators who led oversight investigations. They will discuss the unique role played by Congress in resolving factual issues confronting the country, how committees conduct factual investigations, how committee members attempt to reach consensus on the facts, what happens when they can’t reach consensus, and how investigative hearings and reports affect public perceptions of what is true.
The third panel, later this year, will focus on the role of the media.
Please join us July 21st, 12:00 to 1:30pm, for a fascinating online conversation with:
• Former Senator and Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen (R-ME) who chaired the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management
• Former Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) who chaired the Senate Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight
• Former Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) who chaired the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations