Environmental Conservation Professor Works to Combat Misinformation in Science
To combat the spread of scientific misinformation, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and the National Science Foundation and have created a new effort, the Committee on Understanding and Addressing Misinformation about Science. UMass Amherst’s Ezra Markowitz, professor in environmental conservation, has been appointed as a member of this new committee.
Examples of common scientific misinformation or disinformation include that the moon landings were faked or that the earth really is flat. Though the practice of science may be empirical and rigorous, the narratives told about scientific research may not always conform to the evidence, and such misinformation can lead to deeply harmful outcomes.
The committee’s task is to lead a study that will “characterize the nature and scope of the problem of misinformation about science and its differential impacts; identify solutions to limit its spread; and provide guidance on interventions, policies and research toward reducing harms caused from misinformation.”