Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Editorial | Open Access

Digital Mis/Disinformation and Public Engagement with Health and Science Controversies: Fresh Perspectives from Covid-19

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Abstract:  Digital media, while opening a vast array of avenues for lay people to effectively engage with news, information and debates about important science and health issues, have become a fertile land for various stakeholders to spread misinformation and disinformation, stimulate uncivil discussions and engender ill-informed, dangerous public decisions. Recent developments of the Covid-19 infodemic might just be the tipping point of a process that has been long simmering in controversial areas of health and science (e.g., climate-change denial, anti-vaccination, anti-5G, Flat Earth doctrines). We bring together a wide range of fresh data and perspectives from four continents to help media scholars, journalists, science communicators, scientists, health professionals and policy-makers to better undersand these developments and what can be done to mitigate their impacts on public engagement with health and science controversies.

Keywords:  anti-5G; anti-vaccination; Covid-19; conspiracy theories; disinformation; healh controversies; infodemic; misinformation; science controversies



© An Nguyen, Daniel Catalan-Matamoros. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.