Misinformation, science populism and the role of citizens

ECREA online pre-conference: Science and Environment Communication Section

Event takes place: Monday, 17 October 2022 on Zoom

Abstract deadline: 15 June 2022

Misinformation is high on the public agenda, not least in the area of science, environment and climate communication following the current pandemic, climate, and environmental crises. With this pre-conference the ECREA Science and Environment Communication Section puts a focus on how we can understand and analyse misinformation, as well as disinformation, in relation to science and environment conflicts and how we can perceive the roles of citizens that are facing different levels of misinformation in public debates. Misinformation is sometimes linked to science populism which emerges in opposition to what is perceived as elite representations of scientific and environmental dilemmas and problems. The complex and contested dichotomy between expert and lay discourses is therefore central to understanding both misinformation and science populism in science and environment conflicts.

The event furthermore encourages the exploration of the multifarious role of citizens facing mis- and disinformation as either media audiences and users or as active producers or contesters of misinformation in public spheres. The development of a hybrid media environment particularly allows citizens to play an active role in relation to misinformation and science populism. This leaves public authorities and established media institutions with several dilemmas relating to the limits and possibilities of democratic debate and public engagement in science and environmental conflicts.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Misinformation and disinformation in science and climate communication
  • Conceptualisations of science populism
  • The role of digital and traditional media in the spread and/or containment of mis- and disinformation
  • The complex role of citizens in science populism: activism, protest, and resistance, on- and off-line.
  • Affect, misinformation, and science populism
  • Case studies of misinformation and science populism: e.g. anti-Covid regulation protests, climate change denialism, anti-vaccination movements
  • Public authorities’ and journalistic strategies and measures against mis- and disinformation
  • Media representations of misinformation and science populism as social phenomena.

We encourage work-in-progress and alternative (visual, video, interactive) formats as well as traditional presentations.

Please send a 200-300-word abstract to:

Mette Marie Roslyng: mmroslyng@ikp.aau.dk

Participation in the event is free of charge.