I follow the podcast called The Future of Everything in which “host and Stanford bioengineering professor Russ Altman explores how technology, science and medicine are shaping our lives.” Over a month ago Altman interviewed Seema Yasmin, a medical doctor and journalist. She talks about how disinformation is spreading faster and wider than accurate information and the state of journalism in this pandemic era. I’m educated as a communication scientist so this topic is right up my alley. Her conclusion is that becoming better storytellers is an absolute must for medical scientists, public health experts and journalists too.
One thing Yasmin mentioned is inoculation theory. It’s like giving people a communicative immune response to false claims. Through pre-bunking you can teach people to be more suspicious of the information they take in. I’d never heard of this theory before (or forgot I learned about this at uni twenty years ago), but it’s something that is now on my list to research further.
Listen to the episode. It’s less than thirty minutes and well worth your time.