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.
Falling Walls Circle Tables: Science Communication in Crisis – Could we do better?
LIVE: Setting the Post-Corona-Agenda
As the pandemic continues its spread in all corners of the world, scientists in virology, medicine, epidemiology, and other fields are doing their part to contribute to a better understanding of the disease and to inform policy in the response to COVID-19. Social Scientists ensure the successful implementation of these policies and the direction of a long-term recovery.
Very quickly it has become clear how systemically relevant science, good science communication, and diligent science journalism are. New information and measures to contain the spread of the virus will only be socially acceptable if the communication between policy-makers and researchers, communication practitioners, and affected citizens is effective. Only months into the pandemic, we have seen conspiracy theories and fake news play major roles in the COVID-19 discussion and new protest movements, which perpetuate unscientific findings and arguments, have emerged in response to the pandemic measures. The pandemic has provided a stark reminder of how important it is for science communication to more effectively put public interests at the heart of how scientific knowledge is produced, shared, and applied.
For science communication to be effective and inclusive, we need to understand and apply what works and why.
This virtual roundtable panel discussion will use COVID-19 as a context to illustrate common pitfalls in science communication and how they can potentially be overcome. The discussion will be centered around topics such as what is good science communication in crisis, and how can science be better communicated in time of uncertainty, and how can policy be informed by uncertain science. Panelists will discuss how science communication has evolved during the pandemic, and share 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. Lastly, the panel members will discuss how the lessons learned can be applied to other crises that affect the entire globe, such as climate change. In contrast to the pandemic, climate change still appears to be a rather abstract threat, which may manifest in unusual weather phenomena, but rarely directly impacts the lives of individuals.
Falling Walls Circle Tables will give 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.
DIGITAL BROADCAST AND FREE FOR EVERYONE
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Jan Zielonka is Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Venice, Cá Foscari and at the University of Oxford. His previous appointments included posts at the University of Warsaw, Leiden and the European University Institute in Florence. His work oscillates between the field of international relations, comparative politics and political theory. Zielonka has produced eighteen books including Counter-revolution. Liberal Europe in Retreat (Oxford University Press, 2018, awarded the 2019 UACES prize for the best book on Europe and translated into several languages), Politics and the Media in New Democracies. Europe in a Comparative Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2015), Is the EU doomed? (Polity Press, 2014), and Europe as Empire. The Nature of the Enlarged European Union (Oxford University Press, 2006). Zielonka regularly contributes articles to Die Zeit, NewStatesman, Social Europe, Open Democracy, Il Fatto Quotidiano, L’Espresso, NRC Handelsblad, Diário de Notícias and Rzeczpospolita.
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Melissa Fleming is Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications at the United Nations, having taken up the post in September 2019. Ms. Fleming previously served the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) as its Head of Global Communications and Spokesperson for the High Commissioner for 10 years, and before that worked in senior communications roles for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). She is author of the book, A Hope More Powerful than the Sea, and host of the award-winning podcast, Awake at Night.
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Alan Rusbridger became editor of the Guardian in 1995. He first joined the paper in 1979 as a general assignment reporter, feature writer and columnist.
He briefly moved to the sister paper, the Observer, followed by a stint as Washington correspondent for the London Daily News. He returned to the Guardian as a feature writer in 1987. He helped to launch the earliest version of what would become the online news website guardian.co.uk. During his editorship the paper has fought a number of high-profile battles over libel and press freedom. The paper was nominated newspaper of the year five times between 1996 and 2006. Rusbridger has been named editor of the year three times.
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Laura Helmuth is an American science journalist and the Editor in Chief of Scientific American. She was formerly the Health and Science editor at The Washington Post. From 2016 to 2018 she served as the President of the National Association of Science Writers and board member from 2012 to 2016. She has a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from University of California at Berkeley.