The global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by an equally far-reaching and far-ranging mix of conspiracy theories (CTs). From fake claims about cures and causes to dubious connections with technology and philanthropists, the theories have spread with such virulence that the World Health Organization termed them an “infodemic.” But though COVID has sparked a spate of new hoaxes, CTs precede COVID. This discussion will be a lively and comprehensive conversation about the origins, impacts and appeal of CTs, and what, if anything, should be done about them. Is there a little bit of the conspiracist in everyone?
Guests: Bright Simons, Ghanaian social innovator, entrepreneur and founder and president of mPedigree; Whitney Phillips, assistant professor, Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Syracuse University; Stephan Lewandowsky, chair of cognitive psychology, School of Psychological Science, University of Bristol; Joanne Miller, associate professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations and Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Delaware, and John Cook, research assistant professor, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University. Moderator: Mark Lynas, associate fellow, Cornell Alliance for Science.
Bookings are no longer available for this event.