Science Journalism, Authoritarian Regimes, and Pseudoscience
P8) Science Journalism, Authoritarian Regimes, and Pseudoscience
Pseudoscience deceives millions of people every day. Although scientists and journalists try to expose baseless assertions, governments around the world often will make decisions based on such claims or on the mistrust of science.
Do science journalists have a social responsibility to help people demand evidence-based policies? If so, how can science journalists overcome animus from those in power who seek to prevent them from exercising this responsibility? These questions are crucial when societal well-being is at risk and especially if governments are driven by authoritarianism.
In the first part of this session, speakers will share their experiences reporting in such situations—from “race science” and HIV denialism in South Africa to fraudulent cures in Brazil and Egypt and archaeological findings used as a nationalistic strategy in Indonesia to governmental ignorance of scientific solutions in Costa Rica.
In the second part of the session, speakers and the audience will discuss these questions and what solutions may be possible.