Russian scientists and journalists. The fake news crusade
01 Feb 2019
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Svetlana Paniukova, Chelyabinsk State University

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Parallel Session 2​: Combatting Fake News
Tuesday 9 April 14:45 - 16:30​

In Russia, spreading fake news is also relevant in the field of popular science journalism. On the side of "pseudoscience" over and over stand the central TV channels ("Ren TV" and "TV-3"), some other media and bloggers who earn their views on content based on unreliable sources.

Telegony, homeopathy, the teachings of flat Earth and alternative history, the belief in extrasensory power – this is only a part of the huge number of "fake" facts popular with the Russian audience. However, now we can observe how a part of Russian scientists and certain representatives of the journalistic community are making more and more efforts to educate society. In Russia there is a Commission to confront pseudoscience. Researchers are increasingly entering the traditional media. They appearing as experts at media, publishing popular science publications. Example of this kind of a work is the book “Defence against the Dark Art”, published in 2018 by Alexander Panchin. Young scientists launching their own media projects on social networks also provide support. For example, Alexander Sokolov is the author of the project of Antropogenesis.ru.

Popular science journalists are not far behind in educational work. Thanks to them, books about science are on the bestseller list (Asya Kazantseva, “Someone's wrong on the Internet”), new educational media (N + 1, Arzamas), social networks (Obrazovach), educational projects are being created (Gutenberg smoking room).

Representatives of science and journalism unite their efforts in the fight against fake science news in Russia. After all, researchers have the information and facts that can dispel myths and journalists are very sensitive of the audience and understand how to build a dialogue with it. The collaboration of these forces leads to the emergence of high-quality content in the media space, which is popular and capable of confronting pseudoscientific theories.



Contact: Fletcher, Sara (STFC,RAL,ISIS)