Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Outcomes of the first WHO global #infodemiology conference - how can we get library and information science into this conversation? @CILIPinfo @asist_org

Today there was a webcast with Outcomes of the first WHO global infodemiology conference. The conference was got together quickly, so perhaps it wasn't surprising that it didn't include all the participants you'd expect. However reflecting on how it seemed inevitable that librarianship & information science seemed to be ignored yet again, I moved from apathy to anger. I managed to get in a comment about the lack of input from LIS into the Youtube chat of this webcast before they switched the chat off...
On the one hand, it is negative to view this initiative purely in terms of who wasn't there, on the other, are we just going to accept that the work of librarians and information scientists about  ... um ... information ... and misinformation is now irrelevant? I can think of the ways in which I could have acted to make LIS ideas more prominent, and I'm sure others can as well (I have tagged my two professional associations in the title of this blog post).
However, it is also an embedded ignorance on the part of institutions, apparently unaware that LIS as a discipline can make a serious contribution to policy in an area where information is the topic!!
I have included a screenshot of the research agenda drawn up through the discussion in the conference - many of the topics have been on the research agenda of library and information fields for years, and there is research there if people from other disciplines were to look for it!

So it's up to me - and others of us in the LIS community - to think how we can stop institutions ignoring us.
- The preconference material is here.
- The main conference material is here .
- The postconference material is here and is useful to watch for the summaries and next steps parts. It evidently was a valuable experience for those who participated.
- The webcast is here https://youtu.be/go0ku4-8GCk
Actions you can take are listed here (scroll down): https://www.who.int/teams/risk-communication/infodemic-management/post-conference-1st-who-infodemiology-conference

P.S. the person who appears to have coined the term Infodemiology, Gunther Eysenbach, was not invited (according to his comment in the chat), and the initiative also did not link with the efforts of the UNESCO Media and Information Literacy initiative, to my knowledge.

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