Welcome to TRuST

TRuST banner

Launched in January 2023, the Trust in Research Undertaken in Science and Technology (TRuST) network is a project exploring the concept of public trust in medical, technological and other scientific research that affects and benefits our everyday lives.

Studying trust is vital as it is so foundational to how we live and work together, and it is critical to the spirit of collaboration, innovation, and community that drives the research undertaken at the University of Waterloo. Recent events, including the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting sociopolitical fallout, have thrown the issue of public trust in science sharply into focus.

This is why it is also crucial for us to engage broader communities for understanding, insight, and experience, as the very idea of trust cuts across fields of study, sectors, and societies. Trust is a relational idea that allows us to work together to address the challenges we face today and in the future.

Building on the vision of Waterloo at 100 some 34 years in the future, we take the opportunity to examine the concept of trust relating to the thousands of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the Waterloo Region community and beyond who will be impacted by what is accomplished here at the University.  

President Vivek Goel’s Waterloo at 100 vision demands the evaluation of foundational concepts in an ever-changing world that constantly generates new ideas, understandings, technologies, challenges, and responsibilities. Forging new collaborations at this time of flux is vital and TRuST will be a key tool in helping us do this at the University and beyond. The first step to earning public trust in science is reflecting on the practices of research and scholarship itself in a critical way, to see how we might improve and move forward more inclusively, more thoughtfully, and more collaboratively.

As we begin this research and grow our network, we are excited for the new collaborations, research, and opportunities to listen and talk about trust.

Professor Donna Strickland and Professor Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher,

Inaugural Co-Directors for TRuST,

September, 2023

Donna Strickland

Dr. Donna Strickland

Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher

Dr. Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher

Our Goal

To further understand trust and lack of trust in science and technology and to support ethically earning and sustaining trust in these domains.

Our Mission Statement

We're a network of people dedicated to better understanding why people do or don't trust scientific and technical information. It's a big issue, we know, and so we believe it is important to study the topic in all its complexity and richness. We approach this problem through a transdisciplinary approach, through practitioner experience, and a lot of asking questions and even more listening to a wide range of perspectives. 

TRuST Scholarly Network

Remote video URL



TRuST May 14

Conversations on Democracy at a Critical Crossroads in an Era of Disinformation

Join the University of Waterloo in partnership with the Balsillie School of International Affairs for a conversation on how disinformation and misinformation are leading to polarization, voter apathy and a lack of trust in science and our public institutions. We’ll explore how we can earn trust to defend the future of democracy in an era of disinformation. 

Date |Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Time | Lecture - 7:00 p.m.

Location | Centre for International Governance Innovation Theatre, 67 Erb St. W., Waterloo

The CIGI campus is located in uptown Waterloo, with ION and public transit stops close by. Public parking lots are available surrounding the venue.

If you are unable to attend in-person, we invite you to participate by joining the livestream.