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Digital humanities scientist Giovanni Colavizza has been granted NWO funding for a research project that seeks to provide scientists and governments with reliable information in the battle against COVID-19. The World Health Organization WHO has called for action towards an imminent ‘infodemic’: an overabundance of often unreliable information which creates uncertainty and anxiety.

For a large part, responses from governments and the public are based on access to reliable information from experts. The spread of misinformation poses a real threat to this process. Colavizza’s project seeks to systematically survey the adapting information-seeking and information-spreading behaviours of scientists working on COVID-19 as this pandemic unfolds. The insights gathered during this project could help deliver reliable data to scientists and governments.

The project is organised in collaboration with the Centre for Science and Technology Studies in Leiden. A postdoctoral position will soon become available.

Colavizza’s project is one of thirty proposals that have been granted funding in a special NWO call for research into issues of a non-medical or healthcare-related nature that arise in society during the corona crisis. This research is essential for gathering knowledge that can provide a base for (political) decision-making, both in the short term (during the battle against corona) as well as in the longer term (in the post-corona era). NWO received such a large number of research proposals that it had to close the call after only a few days.

Dr G. (Giovanni) Colavizza

Faculty of Humanities

Departement Mediastudies