Protean uses of trust: A curious case of science hoaxes

Sabina Siebert, Stephanie Schreven

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This article explores an intervention that practises the ‘art of deception’ in the context of biomedical publishing. Specifically, we explore the science hoax aimed at revealing problems in the peer review process. We pose a question – are science hoaxes based on deception ever justified? Drawing on interviews with biomedical scientists in the UK, we identify the issue of trust as the key element in the scientists’ evaluations of hoaxes. Hoaxes are seen by some to increase trust, and are seen by others to damage trust. Trust in science is thus a Protean concept: it can be used to argue two completely different, and sometimes contradictory, positions. In this case the same argument of trust was recognizably invoked to defend the hoaxes, and to argue against them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings
EditorsGuclu Atinc
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

Publication series

NameAcademy of Management Proceedings
PublisherAcademy of Management
ISSN (Print)0065-0668


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