Policy Chats
Policy Chats
Feb 26, 2021
COVID-19: The Threat of "Fake News" (with Carl Bergstrom)
Play • 40 min

In this episode, theoretical and evolutionary biologist and professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, Carl Bergstrom talks with students from the UC Riverside School of Public Policy about the era of "fake news" and how to combat disinformation.

About Carl Bergstrom:

Bergstrom uses mathematical models and computer simulations to study a wide range of problems in population biology, animal behavior, and evolutionary theory. He is interested in how current norms and institutions shape scientific knowledge. While researchers may be driven by intrinsic curiosity, they are constrained by the realities of the scientific ecosystem in which they operate and motivated by the other incentives — monetary and otherwise — with which they are confronted. He is also the author of the book, "Calling Bullshit"

Learn more about Carl Bergstrom via https://www.biology.washington.edu/people/profile/carl-bergstrom

Podcast Highlights:

“Over the last few years we have seen increasing weaponization of disinformation. Social networks are very vulnerable to the exponential spread of misinformation, but also to injection of disinformation by parties who want to disinform.”

-       Carl Bergstrom on the topic of why "fake news" seems to be at an all-time high today.

“Something like QAnon can not only contradict, but directly challenge the authority of not only media, but also state government agencies.”

-       Carl Bergstrom on the topic of the deterioration of trust in established institutions.

“Anti-vax sentiment can ultimately undermine our ability to fight the pandemic...”

-       Carl Bergstrom on the topic of disinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Carl Bergstrom (Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington)


Maddie Bunting (UCR Public Policy Major, Dean’s Chief Ambassador)

Kevin Karami (UCR Public Policy Major, Dean’s Ambassador)

Music by:

C Codaine




Commercial Links:

Lizbeth Abeln Webinar

Marisol Franco Webinar


This is a production of the UCR School of Public Policy: https://spp.ucr.edu/

Subscribe to this podcast so you don’t miss an episode. Learn more about the series and other episodes via https://spp.ucr.edu/podcast.

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