In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a surge in false claims about the new coronavirus and its origins. Many warn that this misinformation could be as dangerous to society as the pandemic. But there are a number of initiatives and methods available to counter the infodemic. Secretary General of VA (Public & Science), Cissi Askwall, shares some examples and tips on how to fight the coronavirus infodemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic is testing our entire society. The world’s researchers, authorities and decision-makers are strengthening their communications in order to mitigate the harmful effects of the virus. Here, Secretary General of VA (Public and Science), Cissi Askwall reflects on the crisis, communication and the consequences from VA’s perspective.
When I was a child, I wanted to become a writer. A writer of children’s books, to be more precise. Maybe this had something to do with me having devoured most of the books in the children’s library of my hometown in the Netherlands. This dream has faded away over time, but my appetite for writing and communication has not. Getting an insight as an intern into what a professional organisation as VA does on a daily basis to bridge the gap between science and society, feels like being invited into the chef’s kitchen.
UK organisation Sense About Science has just published a guide to uncertainty in science. Aimed at igniting public debate as well as informing policy makers and journalists, the guide looks at how scientists use uncertainty to express confidence in results, how uncertainty can be used to undermine evidence and why uncertainty should not be barrier to action.
The death of Margaret Thatcher (British prime minister from 1979 – 1990) last week has taken over the UK media. Margaret Thatcher was unusual in many respects, including being both a politician and a scientist. Mrs Thatcher possessed a chemistry degree from Oxford and worked in the chemical industry before becoming an MP.
At 8:30pm on March 23rd it will be Earth Hour, when people across the world will be turning out the lights. Earth Hour is a symbolic gesture to highlight the environmental challenges facing the world with actions springing from the international campaign.