National Academies Seeks Nominations for Committee on Misinformation

The Board on Science Education (BOSE) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) is launching a consensus study that will examine misinformation about science, and is seeking nominations for committee members, reviewers, and participants. The ad-hoc committee will be compromised of approximately 12-14 members and will examine evidence to define and map the landscape of misinformation, examine the mechanisms and impacts of misinformation experienced by diverse communities, examine the effectiveness of existing interventions, and provide a roadmap to guide future research. BOSE is looking for volunteers who are experts in the fields of science communication, psychology, political…

NSF Announces Partnership with SSRC’s Mercury Project

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC), a COSSA member, recently announced a new partnership between the National Science Foundation (NSF) Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate and SSRC’s Mercury Project, a research initiative focusing on the impacts of and preventing the spread of public health misinformation. This partnership, called “Advance Scientific Knowledge about the Impact of Public Health Guidance,” will help advance evidence to inform decision making related to public health, especially within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several of the hallmark programs within the SBE Directorate are participating in the partnership including Cultural Anthropology, Economics, Sociology, and…

SSRC President Anna Harvey Answers “Why Social Science?”

The latest Why Social Science? guest post comes from Anna Harvey, President of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), who writes about a new SSRC initiative to combat health mis- and disinformation.

SSRC Launches Global Consortium on Misinformation and Health Research

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) has launched a new initiative, the Mercury Project, a global research consortium focused on combatting mis- and disinformation in public health and finding interventions that support the spread and uptake of accurate health information. The $10 million initiative will provide three-year research grants “to discover new, evidence-based, data-driven tools, methods, and interventions to counter mis- and disinformation and to support the spread and uptake of accurate health information.” More information about the project is available on the SSRC website. Proposals are being accepted on a rolling basis.

House Science Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Social Media Data Research

On September 28, the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight within the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (SST) held a hearing on social media platforms, data, and research focused on misinformation spread. Witnesses at the hearing included Professor and Interim Dean at Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University Dr. Alan Mislove; Ph.D. Candidate and Co-Director of Cybersecurity for Democracy at New York University Laura Edelson; and Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Department of Sociology Dr. Kevin Leicht. Subcommittee Chair Bill Foster (D-IL), Ranking Member Jay Obernolte (R-CA), and Full Committee Chair Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)…

House Elections Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Combatting Misinformation in the 2020 Election

On October 6, the Subcommittee on Elections of the Committee on House Administration (CHA) held a public hearing on voting rights and combatting misinformation during the upcoming 2020 election. The Committee heard testimony from Member of the Board of Elections of Cuyahoga County in Ohio Inajo Davis Chappel, Secretary of State of Colorado Jena Griswold, Commissioner of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission Benjamin Hovland, and President of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Spencer Overton. No Republican members of the Subcommittee attended the hearing. Witnesses and participating Members of Congress discussed various dangers of misinformation and its effect…

SSRC Launches MediaWell Platform on Disinformation Research

On October 22, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), a COSSA member, hosted a launch event for MediaWell, an initiative intended to track and aggregate research on mis- and disinformation in the media. The event consisted of an introduction to the mission and function of MediaWell and a panel discussion on current trends of disinformation in the media. Panelists included Editor-in-Chief at The Markup Julia Angwin, Director of the Digital Innovation and Democracy Initiative at the German Marshall Fund Karen Kornbluh, Director of Journalism Research at the Pew Research Center Amy Mitchell, and Professor of Government at Dartmouth College Brendan…


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