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Jul 05 2021


Opinion

In Case You Missed It: Communicating Covid-19

This article reflects the authors own views and not that of MLI.

By Dr. Eileen Culloty

Eight months on from the MLI Horizon webinar on Making Sense of Science in Media: Communication and Health, the Celsius Research Group at DCU organised a webinar on Communicating Covid-19.

Introduced by Barbara Gormley (DCU) and chaired by Philip Boucher Hayes (RTÉ), the webinar heard from an international panel of leading scientists and journalists who discussed how to communicate uncertainty, the media reporting of science, the popularity of false claims and conspiracy theories and related issues. The panelists offered a refreshing perspective on the public's capacity to negotiate complex issues and highlighted the overlapping need for media literacy, information literacy and scientific literacy in a health crisis.

Panelists included:

  • Jody Lanard - Former World Health Organisation (WHO) Senior Pandemic influenza Communications Advisor, Risk Communications Consultant and Co – Contributor to The Peter M. Sandman Risk Communications website.
  • Meg Tirrell - CNBC Senior Health & Science Reporter tracking public health emergencies from Ebola to Zika to the COVID-19 pandemic, and co-host of the STAT News podcast - "The Readout LOUD.’
  • Carl T Bergstrom - Professor of Theoretical and Evolutionary Biology, University of Washington, Seattle and co-author of a best-selling book on disinformation and misinformation, entitled, Calling Bullshit: The Art of Scepticism in a Data-Driven World.
  • Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz - Epidemiologist at University of Wollongong, Australia, with specialisation in chronic disease research, communicating uncertainty and public health. Meyerowitz-Katz is also a science writer at The Guardian and New York Observer.
  • Muge Çevik - Clinical lecturer and Physician who specialises in infectious diseases and medical virology at The University of St Andrew, Scotland. Cevik was an advisor to the WHO and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Scotland on COVID-19, and serves as a member of NERVETAG (New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group) - an expert committee of the UK Department of Health.
Watch on YouTube here