In my opinion, an expert is someone who carries enough knowledge about one or more areas of activity that could be perceived as a professional-level, has firsthand experience of the topic, and knows professional terminology. Moreover, an expert in my understanding is continuously improving his knowledge and keeps up with new trends and inventions. After reading the article by Nichols, I can say that I agree that in modern society, internet technologies allowed many people with no firsthand experience and professional skills to call themselves experts. It is true that while in areas that require a professional degree like healthcare, the new kind of expertise is not valid, social sciences like politics and sociology do not necessarily require a degree (Nichols).
With new opinion-sharing self-publication opportunities such as blogs and social networks, the combination resulted in a devaluation of the real expertise. Although after reading, my understanding did not change much, as I already knew that expertise requires more than just knowledge of information, the article provided me an insight on the issue and valuable arguments.
In a book focused on the crisis of expertise, Eyal pointed that while the term ‘expert’ stands for superlative in other spheres, the term now has a negative meaning in political discourse (3). However, the real expert’s knowledge is different from a layperson’s because it is based on firsthand experience. Moreover, in the context of social sciences, experts can make an opinion entirely based on their own perception rather than a collection of other people’s opinions. In other words, experts use their knowledge and experience to evaluate situations and form their opinion, while layman’s knowledge could be altered by other people’s opinions. Some of the experts that I know are college professors who have both education and professional careers. They qualify as they use their knowledge of the subject and their experience from scientific work.
Eyal, Gil. The Crisis of Expertise. John Wiley & Sons, 2019.
Nichols, Tom. “The Death of Expertise.” The Federalist. 2014. Web.