CFP: Scientific Misinformation in the Digital Age

Submission deadline: April 3, 2020

Conference date(s):
April 3, 2020 - April 5, 2020

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy and Religion, Northeastern University
Boston, United States

Topic areas


The Information Ethics Roundtable is a yearly conference that brings together researchers from a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to, philosophy, computer and information science, political science, library science, journalism, and law to discuss ethical issues such as information privacy, intellectual property, access to information, artificial intelligence, and big data.

Scientific hoaxes (Feder 2017) and “quack” medicine (Kang and Pedersen 2017) are nothing new. But some are concerned that, with the rise of the internet, science is more seriously under threat from misinformation than ever before. In recent issues of the Journal of the American Heart Association and the Royal Society Open Science, scientists are sounding the alarm, arguing that our current digital environment is promoting the “wanton spread of medical misinformation” that is causing “significant harm” (Hill et al. 2019) and “undermining trust in science and the capacity of individuals and society to make evidence-informed choices, including on life-or-death issues” (Hopf et al. 2019). The 2020 Information Ethics Roundtable invites submissions that offer analyses, explanations, and/or solutions to the problem of scientific misinformation and disinformation in the digital era. We seek submissions that approach these issues from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, with a potential to inform discussions of information ethics.


  • Democracy and Scientific Information
  • Climate Science and Misinformation
  • Scientific Disagreement
  • Freedom of Speech
  • Filter Bubbles and Echo Chambers
  • Fake News and the Infopocalypse
  • Conspiracy Theories
  • Public Health Information
  • Bad Science/Pseudoscience


  • What is scientific misinformation, disinformation?
  • Do people have a right to accurate and accessible scientific information?
  • What are the biggest factors contributing to the problem of scientific misinformation?
  • What solutions are there to the problem of online scientific misinformation and disinformation?
  • What is the responsibility of scientists, the media, educational institutions, computer scientists, technology companies, etc?
  • How do we balance the need for accurate science and health information with the epistemic value of disagreement and outliers?

Registration is free and the conference is open to the public. Thus, we invite you to attend, regardless of whether or not you are presenting. However, we will have limited space, so please register for the conference, so we know that you are coming. Starting February 1st you will be able to register on the Ethics Institute Website. The deadline for registering is March 25th.

Proposal Requirements:

Proposals are due by November 15. We invite three types of proposals:

(1) Papers: Please submit a 500-word abstract of your paper (in PDF format). If accepted, a full paper is due by March 1st. This will give your commentator a chance to prepare their comments in advance.

(2) Panels: Please submit a 1500-word description of your panel (in PDF format). The description should include: i) a description of the topic, ii) biographies of the panel members, iii) format of the panel presentation. Panels should focus tightly on a specific emergent topic, technology, phenomena, policy, or the like.

(3) Posters (for undergraduate, graduate, and post-docs only): Please submit a 500-word abstract of your poster and an outline of the major sections  (in PDF format). Note that if an insufficient number of poster proposals are accepted, the poster session may be canceled.

How to Submit: Submissions will be handled through EasyChair. Go to the link below to set up an account and submit your proposal. 

If you have questions, please contact the IER organizers, Kay Mathiesen and Don Fallis, at [email protected].

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