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Tue, 7 May 2019, 17:30 – 19:00

Christ Church college (Sir Michael Dummett Theatre)

Fake news is dominating the public science discourse, from climate change denial to the anti-vaccination movement and the Flat Earth Society.

As scientific knowledge proliferates, with two million new academic articles published every year, public perspectives are being warped. Online clickbait, echo chambers and social media filter bubbles created by computer algorithms have led to misinformation and ideological polarisation.

How have the information age and rise of social media changed science communication? How dangerous is the rise of scientific misinformation? Why do people believe fake news? How can we communicate nuanced scientific results in the mainstream media? Who is responsible for ensuring accurate science communication? What role should government/media platforms/researchers play?

We will explore these questions and more through the perspectives of journalism, policy and academia with our expert panellists.


Prof Alice Roberts (Chair) - Author, broadcaster and Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham

Dr Magdalena Skipper (Panelist) - Editor in Chief of Nature

Simon Singh (Panelist) - Author, journalist and TV producer

Fiona Fox (Panelist) - Director of the Science Media Centre

Emma Woods (Panelist) - Head of Policy, Wellbeing at the Royal Society


Following the seminar, you are invited to join a free drinks reception with the speakers.

The event is part of the Oxford Environmental Research Partnership’s annual seminar series, focusing on the ‘Grand Challenges’ facing society today.