The 'infodemic' and the consequences of evidence misuse

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Period4 Aug 2020

    Media contributions


    Media contributions

    • TitleThe 'infodemic' and the consequences of evidence misuse
      Media name/outletMonash Lens
      Media typeWeb
      DescriptionThe COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the ways we access, use and misuse evidence to guide our responses to the spread of the coronavirus. As we’ve seen, the use of evidence has been highly variable. Andrew Pattison from the World Health Organisation said false information was "spreading faster than the virus". This so-called “infodemic” has tragic consequences on both individual and societal levels. As the US, for example, grapples with record levels of infection, one illustration was the recent death of a man in his 30s who attended a “COVID party”, held by someone diagnosed with the COVID virus to see whether the virus is real and infectious). It was reported that the deceased American believed the virus to be a hoax. The reasons for this infodemic are complex. It’s not only about the veracity of any given evidence, but how it’s used. For the past 18 months, The Q Project research team has been exploring how research evidence is used by school teachers. We searched more than 10,000 scholarly records from databases across education, health, social work and policy, along with more than 100 documents and 65 organisational websites, and developed a framework for thinking about quality research evidence use. The initial findings raise key themes relevant to all of us in our use of evidence at work and in everyday life.
      PersonsLucas Walsh, Mandy Salisbury, Mark Rickinson, Connie Cirkony, Jo Gleeson


    • evidence use
    • schooling
    • evidence
    • Covid-19
    • pandemic