Science Education in an Age of Misinformation
20 May 2022
Misinformation is a grave threat to science. In this report, generated by an international group of leading scientists and education researchers, we outline the nature of that threat along with why it is important and how it can be addressed. There is an increasing concern about the way the internet can be used to spread false information. Whether it is misinformation (information offered in good faith but flawed) and, worse, disinformation (information offered by those who are well aware that it is flawed or inaccurate)—much of it undermines trust in science. In this report, we lay out how science education can meet its responsibility to provide all students with the competences needed to navigate this sea of false and questionable information without becoming lost, confused, and, more importantly, deceived. In so doing, we explore four questions: 1. Why do students need the ability to evaluate scientific expertise and information? 2. What evidence is there that young people struggle to evaluate information effectively? 3. Why is it an urgent priority for scientists and science educators to develop students’ competency to evaluate information? 4. What can be done by scientists and science educators to develop the competency to evaluate scientific information and expertise?