CHDS’ faculty Sue J. Goldie and Zachary Ward participated in a panel discussion in the Global Studies Outreach Conference (GSOC) session “Misinformation and Public Health” in July, 2021. Other panelists included Harvard Chan School’s Rifat Atun and K. “Vish” Viswanath. The panel examined the effects of misinformation on public health, or the “info-demic,” that has exacerbated the COVID-19 crisis. The session was moderated by CHDS’ multimedia design associate Jacob Waxman.
The panel discussed the societal dimensions of public health crises, considering the role of “verifiable information” in perceptions of truth and science. Dr. Viswanath noted that there is both misinformation and a proliferation of delivery systems for such, creating what he termed “spiral of amplification.” There is also a lack of “data literacy” about statistical or scientific information that further complicated communication. The panel concluded with a discussion of the implications for teaching at Harvard and elsewhere.
About the GSOC Conference
The Global Studies Outreach Conference (GSOC) is a multi-day annual conference that is organized and led by the Global Studies Outreach at Harvard. GSOC 2021 focused on “Dis/Misinformation: Perspectives and Pedagogies for Educators in the Post-Truth Era.” The conference addressed dis/misinformation as a global problem, ranging from deliberate efforts at disinformation, the inability or unwillingness of social media platforms to contain it, and the ways in which individuals engage in it.
Read about the conference “Dis/Misinformation: Perspectives and Pedagogies for Educators in the Post-Truth Era.”