The World Economic Forum listed digital misinformation as one of the top global risks in 2013. Now, in 2018, it is impossible to go online without seeing some form of fake news. For scientific fields, misinformation is not a new phenomenon; scientists have been combatting false headlines and pseudoscience long before the internet became widely used. In the digital age, social media has made it possible for pseudoscience to spread quicker and reach wider audiences than ever before. This talk highlights examples of science misinformation on social media and discusses the complexities of combatting it. I’ll close with some suggested approaches for evaluating scientific claims and combatting science fake news online.
Sarah Mojarad received her MS in Corporate and Organizational Communication (with a concentration in Social Media and Online Communication) from Northeastern University. She is a Lecturer at USC with a joint appointment at Viterbi School of Engineering and Keck School of Medicine. At USC, Sarah teaches the course ENGR 410: Social Media for Scientists and Engineers and she is also developing a program in science communication. She previously worked at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering as a Lecturer and Communications Program Manager for Social Media.