I frankly don’t trust LJ’s emailing system to contact people when I reply to there comments so here’s another top level post.

and I have been discussing “validity of opinions” and what it means to be an “expert“.

said :

> Citizendium sounds pretty interesting, it still leaves it open to how much any given qualification is considered to be of high quality or not.
> Personally I’d also be interested in how much ongoing studying and research an editor is doing at the time and on what subjects as
> demonstrated by publications, essays, books, talks etc

Well, Wikipedia (a source of knowledge very much not constructed, for better or worse, by acknowledged experts) says in its definition for “Expert” :

> An expert is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or
> wisely is accorded authority and status by the public or their peers. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or
> ability in a particular area of study.

I’ve underlined some words of my choice in there that I think point out why this is particularly difficult. In particuar deciding what constitutes “the public” or any given peer group can be very hard. Wikipedia has more interesting things on this topic on the page on Communities of Practice.

> Experts have prolonged or intense experience through practice and education in a particular field. In specific fields, the definition of expert
> is well established by consensus and therefore it is not necessary for an individual to have a professional or academic qualification for
> them to be accepted as an expert.

For example – a person who has built up a great body of knowledge on a subject which, to them, is only a hobby can still be viewed by their peers as an expert.

Now – at the very most basic – would it be correct to say that I am the most recognised expert in a given topic because I have persuaded the most people that that is the case? Discuss…