In our efforts to give an informed public a greater voice, we often run into the question: Is the public really smart enough to play the role our Founders envisioned, as a key guiding force in our democracy?

Fortunately, numerous scientists have sought to answer this question — going all the way back to the 18th Century. Interestingly, their answer is that: collectively, we’re very smart, especially when most people have some basic information on a topic. When a large representative sample of the public is asked to solve even a highly complex problem, their responses (collectively) tend to be remarkably intelligent.

This five-minute video produced for NOVA’s ScienceNOW program, called “Wisdom of the Crowds,” tells the story of those findings, succinctly and with humor.

It reminds us of the critical importance of making sure the informed voice of ‘We the People’ actually gets through to policymakers — something that rarely happens in today’s special-interest driven, highly polarized political climate.

The goal of Voice of the People is to give voice to the wisdom of the crowd of the American people, and bring that collective wisdom to bear on policy issues, to help government leaders make better decisions and act with more common sense.

So watch this short video, share it with friends, and help us give the collective wisdom of the American people a greater voice.