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More than Misinformed: Improving Public Health Information Environments

January 24, 6:00 pm PST

Speakers: Sara Gorman, PhD, MPH / David Scales, MPhil, MD, PhD

The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated infodemic – the abundance of information, both true and false, spreading at unprecedented speed and scale – has created myriad challenges for public health professionals. While COVID-19 is becoming endemic, our infodemic was, in fact, already endemic. In this webinar, we will discuss our view that information environments are social determinants of health and describe our vision for how local infodemiologists – field epidemiologists for the infodemic – can begin addressing misinformation and building healthy information environments in their communities.

The UC Berkeley Public Health Alumni Association (PHAA) is honored to host David Scales and Sara Gorman for a presentation as part of our PHAA professional development webinar series. Please join us in a conversation with them as we examine the topic of misinformation in public health.

Sara Gorman, PhD, MPH is a public health and behavioral science expert who has published three books with Oxford University Press on science denial and misinformation. Her work has been featured in a wide array of media outlets, including the BBC, NPR, New York Magazine, Science, Scientific American and The New Yorker, among others. Dr. Gorman is the CEO of Critica, a research organization that combats health misinformation utilizing novel methods and groundbreaking research findings.

David Scales, MPhil, MD, PhD is an internal medicine hospitalist and assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and Chief Medical Officer at Critica, an NGO focused on building scientific literacy. His research focuses on medical communication in clinical and online settings, including understanding how structural factors affect our information environments to allow misinformation to propagate and misconceptions to persist. Dr. Scales’ work leverages qualitative and quantitative methods to address the problem of health-related misinformation, training “infodemiologists” to build Covid-19 vaccine confidence in online communities with community-oriented motivational interviewing. Dr. Scales received his MD and PhD from Yale University, where his sociology dissertation examined how the World Health Organization seeks to control the spread of diseases across international borders. He completed a primary care Internal Medicine residency at Cambridge Health Alliance in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While in Boston, Dr. Scales reported on Lyme disease for WBUR, a local NPR affiliate.

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To request access accommodations, please contact sph_events@berkeley.edu with as much advance notice as possible and at least 10 days in advance of the event.


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