Communications expert explains how science should respond to fake news

From www.eurekalert.com

University of Wisconsin-Madison

BOSTON -- The rise of fake news has dominated the world of politics since the last U.S. election cycle. But fake news is not at all new in the world of science, notes University of Wisconsin-Madison Life Sciences Communication Professor Dominique Brossard.

"Fake news about science has always existed," she says. "What has changed now is social media and the potential to disseminate this kind of news much faster among social networks."

Addressing scientists today (Feb. 18, 2017) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Brossard discussed the fake news phenomenon in the context of science and online social networks like Facebook and Twitter. She joined moderator Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press and speakers Julie Coiro of the University of Rhode Island and Dan Kahan of Yale Law School.

Fake news, Brossard says, is produced using false information, with the goal of sharing it as real news to influence people. However, "in the context of science, I think this is much murkier and unclear."

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