In any sort of crisis, the reporting and sharing of crucial information is key in controlling how the situation may progress. Whilst social media plays an important role in this, the weaving of “fake news” into the tapestry of (mis)information causes confusion and often leads to unnecessary mass hysteria. This has never been more apparent than in the current SARS-Cov2 public health crisis. Fear and panic have spread like wildfire where rationality should prevail.
This fundamentally highlights the need for universal science education. That is not to say that everyone needs a thorough understanding of the virology and epidemiology behind the pandemic. Science is not just learning facts and figures, but learning to question what you’re told, how to accurately interpret the information in front of you and where to look for the answers to your problems. It is in learning how to “do” science that you become more critical of your sources and use reasoning to form your conclusions. It is also vital to consider the implications of your findings and how these should be accurately shared with a wider audience. With an exponential increase in the number of social platforms, these skills are becoming more and more necessary. It is now that we should be inspiring one another to take a second before hitting post to consider our information supply chains and help to limit the deluge of misinformation. Science is a diverse and exciting field, and the skills gained are not only invaluable but far-reaching. It all simply starts with asking “why?”.
Page Medical are experts in science communication and work with BSAC to provide a wide range of online courses about healthcare and infection, check them out here