NAS Announces Committee Studying Misinformation on Science

The National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine’ Board on Science Education announced a committee for a new consensus study focused on understanding and addressing misinformation about science. The study aims to “will identify solutions to limit its spread and provide guidance on interventions, policies, and research toward reducing harms caused from misinformation.”

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The study received over 350 nominations, and ultimately named 14 experts to serve on the committee.  The committee will be chaired by Kasisomayajula “Vish” Viswanath of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and will feature members from Vanderbilt University, University of Essex, Rutgers University, Northeastern University and University of California, Davis, among others.

The committee will define disinformation and disinformation about science, assess its scope and characteristics, develop a holistic framework to understand the influences and impacts of misinformation through various case studies, examine existing mitigation efforts and identify ethical considerations for future efforts, and identify priorities for future research.

In addition to Viswanath, members of the committee are: Nick Allum, professor of research methodology at the University of Essex; Nadine J. Barrett, a medical sociologist and assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Duke University; David Broniatowski, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering in George Washington University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the associate director of GW’s Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics; Afua N. Bruce, a public interest technologist who has spent her career working at the intersection of technology, policy, and society; Lisa Fazio, associate professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University; Lauren Feldman, associate professor in the School of Communication & Information at Rutgers University; Deen Freelon, associate professor at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina and a principal researcher at the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life; Asheley Landrum, associate professor and interim assistant dean for research in the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University; David Lazer, University Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Computer Sciences, Northeastern University, and Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University; Pamela C. Ronald, professor in the Genome Center and the Department of Plant Pathology, and founding director of the Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy, at the University of California, Davis; David Scales, an internal medicine hospitalist and assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and Chief Medical Officer at Critica, an NGO focused on building scientific literacy; Brian Southwell, senior director at RTI International; and Jevin West, associate professor in the Information School at the University of Washington and co-founder of the Center for an Informed Public.

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Molly Gahagen

Molly Gahagen is a third-year student at Johns Hopkins University studying political science and international studies. She is currently the social science communications intern at SAGE Publishing.

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