Truth seems to be an increasingly flexible concept. At least that’s the impression the Oxford English Dictionary gave, as it declared “post-truth” the 2016 Word of the Year.
Many scientists and science journalists have grappled with disregard for, or inappropriate use of, scientific evidence for years – especially around controversial issues like the causes of global warming, or the benefits of vaccinating children. This situation has helped fuel a growing sense of a post-elite, post-expert world, which is characterised by cherry picking of findings, and online echo chambers and filtration of ideas and information.
The current crisis is a challenge for the whole of society, not only for scientists, experts, and policymakers, but also for journalists. There is a growing awareness that information per se is not enough to restore trust but needs appropriate analysis and interpretation.
This panel explores how science journalism can help strengthening an open dialogue between science and society. Panel speakers will reflect upon how to create stronger links between scientists, communicators and journalists; how science journalism can debunk overhype and draw attention to important research findings, and how understanding and appreciation of scientific uncertainty can feature more prominent in the media.