Separating fact from fiction: Enhancing critical thinking to equip the next generation for the post-truth society

This session is linked to Plenary 4: EVIDENCE IN A POST-TRUTH WORLD: The evidence, ethos and pathos. How scientists can engage, and influence the public, press and politicians

Important strides have been taken to get evidence-informed practices onto the agenda at international, regional, national and local levels. The post-truth world, defined by Oxford dictionary as "relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief", is opposite to the philosophy of evidence-informed practices. How will society cope? Part of the solution is critical and analytical thinking skills – starting with the youth. Enabling them to critically evaluate claims and practices. This session will showcase teaching and learning approaches to prepare the next generation to function in a post-truth society – to enable decisions informed by best evidence and not based on beliefs and practices of some. 


  • Learning critical reasoning - Susan van Schalkwyk. 
  • Effects of the Informed Health Choices primary school intervention on the ability of children in Uganda to assess the reliability of claims about treatment effects - Nelson Sewankambo. 
  • Teaching and learning of evidence-based practice at pre-service level - Kameshwar Prasad.


Target audience: 

Those involved in promoting evidence informed practice. Those involved in teaching and learning.

Type of session: 

The session format will include short presentations and discussion.

Other contributors:

v Schalkwyk S1, Prasad K2
1 Stellenbosch University, South Africa
2 All India Institute of Medical Sciences,


Saturday 16 September 2017 - 11:00 to 12:30