The Denial of Science in the Antisystem Populist Rhetoric


  • Carla Montuori Fernandes Department of Postgraduate Studies in Communication - Universidade Paulista - UNIP, São Paulo/SP, Brazil
  • Luiz Ademir de Oliveira Department of Postgraduate Studies in Communication - Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora - UFJF, Juiz de Fora/MG, Brazil
  • Fernando de Resende Chaves Department of Postgraduate Studies in Communication - Universidade Paulista - UNIP, São Paulo/SP, Brazil
  • Pedro Farnese Department of Postgraduate Studies in Communication - Universidade Paulista - UNIP, São Paulo/SP, Brazil


Populism, Denial of Science, Politics, Media, Online Social Networks


The article aims to carry out a conceptual resumption of antiscience populism, revisiting theoretical research that points to the “us” versus “them” binarism that characterizes the movement, shifts away from political elites and focuses on scientific elites, portraying them as antagonists of common people and political leaders. The study starts from the premise that populism against science refers to a political performance style that arises in contexts of democratic crises and that manifests itself in a generalized disbelief in traditional institutions. It highlights the importance that the media played in consolidating populism against science. In the pre-digital era, the effectiveness of populist leadership depended a lot on the leader's personal abilities, his oratory and the team's ability to articulate speeches adjusted to different media. Contemporary populism, on the other hand, is structured by the consonance between the media apparatus, the discursive mechanism and a tactic politics for the construction of hegemony. The article uses bibliographic research as a methodology and lists some classic and contemporary trends in populism. The results show that anti-science populism is a movement that derives from the character of contemporary populism that emerges in the context of institutional crises and uses digital media as an apparatus.

Author Biography

Pedro Farnese, Department of Postgraduate Studies in Communication - Universidade Paulista - UNIP, São Paulo/SP, Brazil

Postgraduate Program in Communication, Universidade Paulista, São Paulo, Brasil. Permanent journalist at IF Sudeste MG and Doctoral Student of the Postgraduate Program in Communication at Universidade Paulista (UNIP) with a Capes scholarship.


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How to Cite

Fernandes, C. M. ., Oliveira, L. A. de, Chaves, F. de R., & Farnese, P. (2022). The Denial of Science in the Antisystem Populist Rhetoric. American Scientific Research Journal for Engineering, Technology, and Sciences, 85(1), 1–13. Retrieved from