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Professor: Populism and idiocy have a natural limit

According to professor of particle physics and television presenter Brian Cox, the life-expectancy of a post-factual world is necessarily limited, as it will inevitably lead to the collapse of civilisation.

“You can't live in a post-factual world for very long. Your civilisation collapses. So there's a natural limit to idiocy,“ Cox said in an interview with ERR's Jaan-Juhan Oidermaa earlier this week. ERR's science portal, Novaator, covered Cox's visit.

Talking about populism in politics, Cox said that it seemed to have a fixed half-life. “If you look at phenomena like Donald Trump, which is a post-factual phenomena – there's no rationale behind that – his popularity is collapsing. You maybe seeing it with Brexit in the UK now,“ he noted. The conclusion according to the professor: political movements with little or no substance will crumble sooner or later.

However, Cox also emphasized that people get the government and political leaders they deserve. “They are responding to the conversations that happen in the society and the way those conversations happen. So education and particularly scientific education is important in a democracy,“ Cox suggested.

Brian Cox is an English physicist. He is professor of particle physics at the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester and became known as a presenter of science programming as well. He visited Tallinn on Thursday as a part of his cosmology tour Brian Cox Live.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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