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.