Descartes Centre Colloquium with Nancy Tomes and Frank Huisman

Nancy Tomes

"Managing the modern infodemic: how the new social media are complicating old public health problems"

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the role of new social media in promoting disinformation and misinformation about important health issues.  While it is tempting simply to say "it's all the Internet's fault," vexing problems with health communication long predate the advent of the World Wide Web and Smartphones.  In this talk, Nancy Tomes will explore the long term and short term context of “managing” misinformation and disinformation during the  COVID 19 pandemic, with particular emphasis on the forms of conspiracy thinking and organized resistance that have emerged in the U.S.   

Short biography

Nancy Tomes is a SUNY Distinguished Professor of History at Stony Brook University. She is the author of four books: The Art of Asylum Keeping (Cambridge 1985, reissued by UPenn 1994), with Lynn Gamwell,  Madness in America (Cornell, 1995) The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women and the Microbe in American Life (Harvard, 1998) and Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers (UNC Press, 2016). She was a Descartes Centre Senior Fellow in 2017 and 2018. With the generous support of the Centre, she and Frank Huisman (along with Noortje Jacobs) have created a working group, “Governance in Global Health,” that now meets regularly.     

Frank Huisman

Frank Huisman will do a comment on Nancy’s talk reflecting on the similarities and differences with the Dutch experience.

Start date and time
End date and time
Entrance fee
Online, attendance is free

Please find the link to participate via Microsoft Teams here.