In 2018, there are still people on Earth who believe that our planet is flat. They think that there is a dome above us with star-like lanterns that shine dimly in the dark. These people are not too rare, they even have their own club called The Flat Earth Society. Is it possible to make a film about this phenomenon without didactic platitudes on the one hand and mockery on the other? The makers of Behind the Curve go along this very thin line. They delicately and sincerely try to understand the characters they film and touch upon a huge topic of the rationality crisis. Why do science and rational thinking increasingly encounter such rejection? How to remove the stigma from those who believe in anti-scientific myths? How to learn to communicate with them? The buzzwords like post-truth and fake news never appear in the film. However, Behind the Curve works as an accurate commentary on an era in which all authorities lost confidence, and the concept of ultimate truth seems ephemeral. It is significant that the creators of the film barely give the floor to the opposing, “reasonable” side. They let their protagonists check for themselves that the Earth is still round.
This panel, moderated by Alexander Gorbachev, is a chance to talk with philosophers, cognitive psychologists, and anthropologists. How do “alternative facts” appear? What are the roots of a current crisis of trust in science? Why we are prone to emotional choice in the era of rationality?