Timothy Caulfield, BSc, LL.B., LL.M., FRSC, FCAHS
Professor of Health Law & Science Policy, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB

Cow urine, bleach and cocaine have all been recommended as COVID-19 cures — all nonsense. The pandemic has been cast as a leaked bioweapon, a byproduct of 5G wireless technology and a political hoax — all poppycock. And countless wellness gurus and alternative-medicine practitioners have pushed unproven potions, pills and practices as ways to “boost” the immune system. Misinformation is absolutely everywhere. The coronavirus isn’t just a pandemic, it is an infodemic. It’s caused physical harm and financial loss, added confusion and distraction to an already chaotic environment, and made it even more difficult to implement the needed health policy initiatives. How does this misinformation spread? Why do people believe it? What can we do as individuals and a community to fight back? Who can we trust? In this provocative presentation, Timothy Caulfield will explore these questions and more.

Learning Objectives
At the end of this presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Understand the scope and nature of the “infodemic” and the primary sources of misinformation;
  • Identify the harms associated with the spread of misinformation in this context;
  • Analyze the arguments for and against debunking misinformation, and utilize effective debunking strategies.

CanMEDS Roles Addressed: Communication, Health Advocate