ESMH workshop : Tackling mis/disinformation in Science, 6 Feb. 2019

How to tackle disinformation in science? How scientists and journalists could work better together in order to prevent misinformation? The knowledge lab of the ESMH on 6th February will take a closer look at some initiatives.

The event is bringing together journalists and scientists from different EU countries and will take place in the wider context of the “Science week at the EP” event (5-7 February 2019) The workshop will be the occasion to show case good practices in quality information sharing and  via the presentation of “case studies” touching upon different science disciplines and including some useful tools against disinfrmation.

According to Oxford dictionary, misinformation is “false or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive”, while disinformation is”false information which is intended to mislead, especially propaganda issued by a government organization to a rival power or the media”.

Dr Scott Brennen will open the floor by presenting the main lines of the Oxford Martin Programme on Misinformation, Science, and Media, which examines the interplay between scientific misinformation, news coverage, and social media platforms for the public understanding of science and technological innovation. Public understanding of key issues in science and technology is often limited and misinformation about basic issues in science and technology abounds. The programme focuses on how can we better understand public discussions of science and technology, and what can be done to improve them.

The data journalist Guido Romeo will talk about his brand new ambitious project – Factful – and of its focus on bringing the scientific method to reporting, integrating data analysis and field work. Through open source intelligence, Factful not only promises to make science accessible to citizens and organizations to counter misinformation, but also to investigate into the working mechanisms of scientific institutions.

More on concrete examples, the President of the Science Feedback association Emmanuel Vincent will present the ClimateFeedback.org project, an international network of scientists who review influential climate change media coverage and provide feedback to readers, journalists and editors about its scientific credibility. Science Feedback is broadening this approach to other scientific fields prone to misunderstandings or organized campaigns of disinformation (e.g. health, see HealthFeedback.org). One of the primary goal is to help platforms like Facebook, Google and Youtube, which act as gatekeepers of online information, to promote credible sources of information.

Mike Hamilton will then discuss “the Factmata approach” to artificial intelligence, communities, and expert knowledge to identify and classify problematic content.

Tackling misinformation and disinformation in science

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