ZSI on Ludovika University of Public Service Conference

How Can Science Help in Managing Disinformation?

Insights from the Ludovika University of Public Service Conference

October 13, 2023

The Ludovika University of Public Service (LUPS) in Budapest hosted a pivotal conference titled “How Can Science Help in Managing Disinformation?”. 

The Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI), one of VERITY partners, participated in the conference organized by the Faculty of Public Governance and International Studies (FPGIS). It aimed to explore the evolving role of science in combating disinformation and its implications for societal trust and policy-making.



Setting the Stage: Addressing Disinformation Through Science

The conference started with a thought-provoking introduction by Balázs Bartóki-Gönczy, Deputy Dean of FPGIS, who highlighted the urgent need for adaptable research methodologies amidst the chaotic landscape of disinformation and misinformation. He emphasized the critical role of credible science communication in navigating today’s noisy information environment.

Nóra Falyuna, Head of the Science and Society Research Group at FPGIS, underscored the profound societal impacts of misinformation, particularly evident during global crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. She stressed the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations and robust science communication strategies in fostering public trust.



Unveiling Research Findings: TRESCA and VERITY Projects

Gábor Szüdi, researcher at the Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI), presented key findings from the EU Horizon 2020 project TRESCA and preliminary insights from the Horizon Europe project VERITY. His presentation delved into the role of science communication in evidence-based policy-making, drawing from TRESCA’s outcomes. In the subsequent panel discussion, Szüdi introduced initial findings from VERITY’s reviews and actions, exploring societal perceptions of science and strategies to combat misinformation.



Perspectives on Science, Society, and Disinformation

The conference featured distinguished speakers like Bernát Török from the József Eötvös Research Center and Joseph E. Uscinski from the University of Miami, who gave diverse perspectives on the intersection of science, society, and disinformation. Török discussed legal frameworks and the limitations of legislation in combating disinformation, while Uscinski explored the role of digital culture in the proliferation of conspiracy theories.



Future Directions: Integrating AI and Digital Media in Science Communication

Ágnes Veszelszki, Head of the Department of Digital Media and Communication at FPGIS, examined the impact of artificial intelligence on science communication. Her presentation highlighted both the opportunities and challenges posed by AI in creating engaging scientific content while preserving originality and authenticity.



Closing Thoughts

The conference concluded with a dynamic panel discussion involving experts and participants, exploring the evolving dynamics of science communication amidst digital advancements and societal challenges.

Following the conference, the insights and discussions are slated to be published in an upcoming issue of the Hungarian journal Information Society. This dissemination aims to further propagate the learnings from the conference and stimulate ongoing dialogue within the scientific community. 

For projects like VERITY, the conference served as an important platform to raise awareness and integrate initial findings into broader research agendas, continuing the fight against misinformation and fostering societal resilience.



For more information about the conference click here.