Science Communication in Crisis – Could we do better?

Falling Walls Circle Tables are lending the spotlight to world-leading scientists, science strategists and policy-makers from academia, business and politics discuss how we can apply science, research and innovation to get the world moving again.

While the world has been battling the Covid-19 pandemic, science communication has been combating an ‘infodemic’. Driven by social media and political divides, false information has hindered progress at every stage. As Melissa Fleming explains, “we had at the beginning misinformation that was travelling faster than the virus.”

Overcoming misinformation needs clear and engaging science communication. This requires a new level of openness in reporting, clearly laying out sources, and explaining the scientific process itself. When the science remains unclear, journalism must accurately report this uncertainty.

Ultimately, informing audiences can only be the beginning. Communicators also need to harness social media, by creating accessible and shareable content. Social media companies need to do their part, by ensuring facts are more likely to reach users than fiction. These lessons will be relevant long after Covid, as we continue to battle misinformation on many fronts – not least climate change.

Angela Saini

Angela Saini is an independent British science journalist and author. She presents radio and television programmes on the BBC and her writing has appeared in the Guardian, The Sunday Times, Prospect, New Scientist, New Humanist and Wired among others. She has won a number of national and international journalism awards. Her two-part documentary series for BBC Four about the history and science of eugenics aired in autumn 2019, and was a pick of the day in many national newspapers. Her latest book, Superior: The Return of Race Science, was published in summer 2019 by 4th Estate and Beacon Press to widespread critical acclaim, and has been named a book of the year by the Financial Times  Guardian, The Telegraph and Sunday Times among many others. Her previous book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong, was published in 2017 and has been translated into eleven languages.

Leave a comment

Log in to Comment
Further Activities to have a look at

We use cookies and other technologies to collect data about your use of our site and about your browser, device and location. We process this data to help us understand how the site is used and to personalize our content and the advertising you see on this and other sites we also share this data with advertising, social media and analytics partners for the same purposes. By choosing “Accept All” you agree that we store cookies on your device and process the data for the aforementioned purposes . You may revoke your consent at any time by choosing the respective settings. For more information on the processing of personal data and what specific services we use see our Privacy Policy

Privacy Preference Center

We use cookies and other technologies to collect data about your use of our site and about your browser, device and location. We process this data to help us understand how the site is used and to personalize our content and the advertising you see on this and other sites we also share this data with advertising, social media and analytics partners for the same purposes. By choosing “Accept All” you agree that we store cookies on your device and process the data for the aforementioned purposes . You may revoke your consent at any time by choosing the respective settings. For more information on the processing of personal data and what specific services we use see our Privacy Policy

Necessary Cookies

These cookies are required to provide you with our site and its functions. Since storing these cookies is necessary for the provision of our site and its functions, you cannot disable them. If you block these cookies via you browser settings our site may not function properly.

Analyse Cookies

These cookies enable us to use website analytics in order to improve our site or provide you with personalized content. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages.

Marketing Cookies

These cookies enable us to use online marketing and advertising in order to provide you on this or on other sites with personalized advertisement. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages.