Rethinking Science Communication: Experience from the COVID-19 Pandemic

September 4, 2020 4:15 - 5:45

Location: Virtual Room 1


We are exposed to both good and bad science communication in a changing media world. What difference does it make if you tell a story in one or another way? What are the effects of the way science is told in the different channels? How is the public and the scientific community interacting? What are the new strategies for engaging the public to understand and to trust science in a media world full of anti-scientific propaganda, misinformation, and lack of facts?

The traditional media have been weakened over the last decades, most young people in the western world now receive their news from social media. In 2019, the WHO declared that misinformation about vaccines was among the largest threats to global health. Several infectious diseases which were almost eradicated in the western world are increasing again. The fact that all focus now is on COVID-19 does not help.

Some countries have reacted against the COVID-19 crisis in a political unified way based on science advise. Others have given in to political priorities, which have caused trouble for the containment of the virus. Society needs good and competent media coverage to fight ignorance and disease. Not at least in these COVID-19 times.

Examples will be put in perspective with the knowledge we have from media research and social sciences about impact of communication in society. Different perspectives will be given of what the future of science and knowledge communication will be in a world of fake news, propaganda warfare and misinformation.

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