Information behaviour of scientists

We are being bombarded with information about COVID-19. It is not always easy for the individual to tell apart established knowledge from unproven scientific theories, rumours and misinformation. In consequence, conspiracy theories are on the rise and frustration about conflicting information is growing. What can we do?

Scientists play a central role in the COVID-19 ‘infodemic’. Not only epidemiologists have something to say about this crisis. The pandemic endangers economic stability, it carries mental health risks, raises questions about social responsibility and changes states’ influence on individual freedom. The expertise of researchers from medicine and biology, but also social sciences, humanities and economics is urgently needed to counter misinformation.

The aim of this project is to conduct anonymous surveys investigating how scientists spread and seek COVID-19 related information on different media channels. How do they adapt to the ‘infodemic’? Which strategies are effective to communicate scientific findings? We will use our insights to inform governments and experts – not only for this, but also for future crises.

This project is a collaboration with Karlijn Roex and is funded by the NWO. See the project’s website for more information.