In this comprehensive online course module on ‘Fake News in Science – Biology,’ participants will delve into the prevalence and implications of misinformation in the world of science, specifically in the field of biology. The module sheds light on how fake news has been leveraged to propagate misinformation about crucial scientific research, potentially distorting public understanding and impacting policy-making.
This course delves into a variety of case studies, including the misinformation spread by the tobacco and sugar industry, and controversial research like the infamous study that erroneously linked the MMR vaccine with autism. It also explores how the rapid spread of information through social media platforms and the internet can exacerbate the impact of such misinformation.
From historical controversies to modern-day issues, this course provides a thorough exploration of ‘fake news’ in the science world. It aims to equip students with the critical thinking skills needed to discern credible scientific information from misinformation, thereby fostering a more informed and scientifically literate society.
The module ends with a discussion on potential solutions, emphasizing the importance of effective communication from scientists, early science education, funding for scientific institutions, and responsible sharing of information on social media. It underscores the role of all stakeholders – from researchers and educators to the general public and tech companies – in combating the plague of fake news in science.
What Will You Learn?
- Gain a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon of fake news in the context of biological sciences.
- Learn about historical and contemporary case studies where misinformation has distorted public understanding and policy-making.
- Develop critical thinking skills to discern credible scientific information from misinformation.
- Understand the role of different stakeholders (researchers, educators, public, tech companies) in the spread and mitigation of scientific fake news.
- Acquire strategies to navigate and counteract misinformation in their personal and professional lives, fostering a more informed and scientifically literate society.
Fake news in biology
Fake news in Biology08:11