April 13, 2024

Conspiracy Theorists Exploited COVID-19 Science – Here’s How

By Annenberg Public Law Center of the University of Pennsylvania
November 6, 2021

Conspiracists have utilized the provisionary nature of science to paint researchers as malign actors.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, conspiracy theorists have made use of the conditional nature of science and questioned the reliability and motives of federal firms and authorities to portray scientists and health authorities as malign actors.

In a commentary released on November 1, 2021, in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, science interaction scholar Kathleen Hall Jamieson analyzes the methods in which conspiracists do this and proposes actions health reporters, researchers, and authorities can require to reduce the probability that their work will be utilized to sustain new conspiracy theories.
Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania and a teacher of communication at Penns Annenberg School for Communication, argues that:
” By exploiting the provisionary nature of clinical knowledge, its inevitable updating, and the truths of scientific funding structures, conspiracists wore down the trust of some prone individuals in the recommendations of public health authorities about lifesaving habits consisting of mask-wearing and vaccination. Their success in doing so made neighborhood resistance, and with it an end to the pandemic, more evasive.”
Read the full commentary “How conspiracists exploited COVID-19 science” in Nature Human Behaviour.
Referral: “How conspiracists made use of COVID-19 science” by Kathleen Hall Jamieson, 1 November 2021, Nature Human Behaviour.DOI: 10.1038/ s41562-021-01217-2.
The Annenberg Public Policy Center was developed in 1993 to inform the public and policymakers about interactions function in advancing public understanding of political, science, and health concerns at the regional, state, and federal levels.