Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is one of Australia’s 100 National Living Treasures with a media career spanning more than 30 years. He has authored 38 books to date, his latest is Dr Karl’s Short Back & Science (October 2015, Pan Macmillan). His accolades range from the Nobel Prize from Harvard University for his ground breaking research into belly button fluff and why it is almost always blue, to being one of the first Australian Apple Masters, of which there are only 100 worldwide.
In the Secular Sermon “Dr Karl Kruszelnicki on Misinformation“, Dr Karl will share the personal realisations that led to his lifelong fight against misinformation. He argues the need for scientific rigor and discipline in our public discourse, and shows us practical ways that we can spot and counter the misinformation in our everyday lives.
We had a quick chat with Dr Karl and here’s a brief taste of what you can expect at the event.
To what extent to you think the 24 hour news cycle has contributed to misinformation?
Not in a major way. The 24-hours-new-cycle is just a continuation of a deeper problem. What the 24-hour-news-cycle does add is the continuous repetition of sometimes inaccurate data.
Can a strong ethical framework help to prevent people from disseminating misinformation?
Yes, but it has to be combined with Critical Thinking, to give them the ability to handle the massive amount of Data coming in.
How do we know whether or not something is misinformation in situations where the person disseminating the information has a genuine belief that what they are saying is true?
Ignore the person, and look hard and critically at the actual data.
What have your learned from your experience with the 2015 Intergeneration Report?
The Media can misreport simple and clear statements.
Is the report an example of misinformation by omission?
More complicated than that.
What are some simple steps that people can take in their daily lives to combat misinformation?
Learn how to find the reliable data. Google Scholar is a good start, in looking at the peer-reviewed literature. Unfortunately, this can take time. In my case, it takes me 10-20 hours to write a 1,000 word story.
Dr Karl Kruszelnicki on Misinformation
When: Sunday 13 December 2015, 10:45am to 12:30pm
Tickets: $35 + booking fee
Where: Fitzroy Town Hall, 201 Napier St, Fitzroy