Maya J. Goldenberg - Myth-Busting or Meaning-Making? Public Science Communications and the Infodemic
Maya J. Goldenberg (University of Guelph)

February 23, 2024, 3:30pm - 5:30pm
The Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh

1008, 10th Floor of Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh, 4200 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh 15260
United States

This event is available both online and in-person


University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh

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ALS – Maya J. Goldenberg

February 23 @ 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm EST

Title: Myth-Busting or Meaning-Making? Public Science Communications and the Infodemic

Abstract: A growth area of public-facing science communications during the COVID years has been the counter-offence against misinformation, that is, fighting the “infodemic.” Since the start of the pandemic, legions of well-intended healthcare practitioners, scientists, and concerned citizens have taken to social media platforms to debunk myths and provide corrective facts. These efforts were buoyed by emerging cognitive and social psychology research into strategies for addressing misinformation, such as debunking, pre-emptive inoculation, and nudging. Yet this concentrated focus on the epistemic status of propositional claims (i.e., separating “facts” from “myths”) has serious limits. The field of communications research offers important insights that undermine the soundness of “myth-versus-fact” message frames as public communications practice. Serious consideration of communication as meaning-making, especially in the fraught social context in which the infodemic has flourished, points to difficulties with the interpretive story line that the myth-busting message frame conveys. These considerations support an alternative focus on trust-building for science communications to the publics.

This talk will also be available live streamed on YouTube at

Light refreshments will follow the lecture in CL 1008.

To find out more about Maya and her work visit:

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