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In a new report, ALLEA examines the potential of technical and policy measures to tackle science disinformation and calls for improved European exchange and coordination in this field. Professor Risto Kunelius from Univeristy of Helsinki was one of the authors of the report.
While disinformation strategies are intoxicating public discourses in many fields, science disinformation is particularly dangerous to democratic governance and society at large. As highlighted by the ongoing pandemic, an undermining of trust in science poses a fundamental threat to political and individual decisions based on evidence and scientific knowledge.
The authors discuss the most prominent psychological, technical and political strategies to counter science disinformation, including inoculation, debunking, recommender systems, fact-checking, raising awareness, media literacy, as well as innovations in science communication and public engagement.
Following an analysis of the consequences of science disinformation in climate change, vaccine hesitancy and pandemics, the report concludes with a series of recommendations. The authors call for:
- a stronger focus on communicating how science works and more dialogue in science communication practices,
- a serious engagement with the public when exercising or communicating research,
- valuing the virtue of intellectual humility when communicating scientific evidence,
- the maintenance of good research practices and high ethical standards to ensure integrity and trustworthiness,
- accountable, honest, transparent, tailored and effective science advice mechanisms.
To implement these proposals, the authors advise to establish a European Centre/Network for Science Communication and a European Code of Conduct for Science Communication.
Read the full report here: https://academies.fi/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Fact-or-Fake-Discussion-Paper.pdf
ALLEA is the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, representing more than 50 academies from over 40 countries in Europe. The Council of Finnish Academies is a national member of ALLEA.