For a while now, a growing chorus of voices of scholars and policy actors has warned about an alleged “infodemic” surrounding public debates about science. The term infodemic typically refers to a flood of truth claims, especially online, that makes it difficult for citizens to distinguish high-quality actionable science from incorrect or misleading claims. This talk cautions against thinking about interventions primarily in terms of “correcting” individual perceptions among information consumers. In fact, informational interventions targeted toward recipients of information underappreciate (a) the power of algorithmically targeted (mis)information, and (b) the policy complexities surrounding uncertain, emerging science. Instead, Professor Scheufele argues that we need to start defining (in)accuracy as intersecting (un)certainties associated with the nature of science, sociopolitical climates, and media systems.
About the Speaker | Dietram A. Scheufele