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How the COVID-19 Pandemic Reveals Broader Audiences for Science

It also carves out new all-digital publishing opportunities

These are no ordinary times. We face a pandemic together and we are all trying to grasp how we will be affected now and into the future. As we look to make sense of this public health emergency, people’s appetite for information grows along with the belief or hope that it will help us to better understand, respond, and cope with the effects of this novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Yet, faced with a flood of information and with false news spreading more quickly than true stories, a further challenge arises. How can people distinguish between fact and fiction, that is, between evidence-based information and misinformation (false information)?

Growing appetite for health information
There is an important lesson in this for the scholarly community, one that requires a radical shift in perspective, as we realize that the audience for complex scientific and medical information is not as limited as we have, until now, assumed – and that this provides an opportunity to combat misinformation. Amid the fear, the pain and the uncertainty, there is one positive outcome that the scholarly community can work toward as an immediate and long-term goal: reaching broader audiences with evidence-based content and, in turn, improving health and scientific literacy.

The scholarly community is in a unique position to respond to a newfound appetite for accurate and valid medical and health information. But responding is not enough, our goal should be to go further – to leverage people’s curiosity, deepen their knowledge, their ability to recognize trustworthy sources of information and enhance their connection to the broader science and technology that impacts their day-to-day lives.

Please select this link to read the complete article from The Scholarly Kitchen.

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