Plenary 4: Evidence in a post-truth world


Saturday 16 September 2017 - 09:00 to 10:30


EVIDENCE IN A POST-TRUTH WORLD: The evidence, ethos and pathos. How scientists can engage, and influence the public, press and politicians 

The ‘post-truth world’ has been defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” (Oxford English Dictionary, 2016).  The rise of ‘post-truth’ requires us to go beyond the question of how robust the evidence is and how persuasive it is. Notwithstanding the need for robust evidence, what else can scientists do (and with whom do we need to collaborate) to engage and influence public, press and politicians at a time when our own credibility in their eyes is low and falling?  This session will include an academic overview of argumentation theories that have drawn and built on Aristotle’s early work, as well as presentations from a science journalist working in controversial fields and a social media analyst who studies the spread of news (real and ‘fake’).

Trish Greenhalgh:  
Trish is a Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences and Fellow of Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford, UK. She is an internationally recognized academic in primary health care and trained as a General Practitioner. Her vast past expertise and research has covered the evaluation and improvement of clinical services and the challenges of implementing evidence-based practice, which includes the study of knowledge translation and research impact, and the application of philosophy to clinical practice.
Keynote title: Evidence In a Post-Truth World

Anim van Wyk:
joined Africa Check as Deputy Editor in July 2014. She was named Editor on 1 October 2015. Previously she edited an award-winning national supplement in the Afrikaans papers Beeld, Die Burger, and Volksblad and has also worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer, and television producer. In 2016, she completed a master’s degree in media management at Stellenbosch University – titled “Fact-checking in the Global South: Facts about non-profit journalism funding models – a case study”, sharing the prize for best student.
Keynote title: Pro-truth: How fact-checking journalism helps set the record straight in Africa

Caroline Weinberg:
Caroline is a public health researcher and advocate.  She was the national co-chair of the March for Science, an unprecedented global event uniting more than a million people in 600 cities around the world in celebration and defense of the role of science in society and policy.
Keynote title: 
Community Activism: citizens role in promoting evidence based policy and practice

Threaded special sessions:

Session 10: Separating fact from fiction – enhancing critical thinking to equip the next generation for the post truth society

To showcase teaching and learning approaches to prepare the next generation to function in a post-truth society – to make decisions informed by best evidence and not based on beliefs and practices of some.

Saturday 16 September 2017 - 11:00 to 12:30. To sign-up, click on the title.

Session 11: Telling good stories: A workshop in the art of persuasion

To explore how the principles of rhetoric and persuasion introduced in the plenary ‘Evidence in a Post Truth World’can be applied to specific cases

Saturday 16 September 2017 - 14:00 to 15:30. To sign-up, click on the title.

Session 12: Access to research results for decision-making

What steps can be taken by stakeholders in different areas to enforce universal clinical trial registration and timely public disclosure of methods and results? Can clinical trial transparency and accountability frameworks be extended into pre-clinical research and post-licensure implementation research? How can the value of registries be maximised for evidence assessment processes? 

Saturday 16 September 2017 - 14:00 to 15:30. To sign-up, click on the title.