Issue #104, January 2019

   Weisskopf Interview
   My Country Talks
   Media Lab Bayern
   Upcoming Events
   Linked In

Facts and Fake News
14% of Americans don't think climate change is happening, and only 71%  consider it very important to vaccinate children. Statistics like these  can be frustrating to scientists and researchers. Despite the wealth of scientific evidence pointing one direction, a notable percentage of people believe differently.

The problem, laid out meticulously by Elizabeth Kolbert in the  New Yorker, is that facts sometimes don't change people's minds. Opinions are created and strengthened by affirmation from others. Though facts are not subjective, people's belief in those facts certainly is.

Our January newsletter investigates facts in media and politics as well as in science. We look at  a prominent German fact-checking organization, an initiative that brings together liberals and conservatives to have civil conversations, a software that monitors comments online and a media startup incubator. In an interview, Markus Weisskopf, Director of Wissenschaft im Dialog (Science in Dialogue), speaks about upholding scientific facts and how to most effectively communicate scientific research.

©Christof Rieken/Wissenschaft im Dialog
Discussing Fake Science with Markus Weisskopf

Markus Weisskopf is Director of Wissenschaft im Dialog, a Germany science-communication organization.

In a conversation with us, he talks about scientific facts, fake science and how both are communicated.


An Inside Look at a German Fact-Checking Organization

CORRECTIV, the first non-profit research center in the German-speaking world, is tackling the problems of misinformation in the digital age. 

We spoke with them about how they verify information and what happens when fake content is found.

©Marcus Simaitis for ZEIT ONLINE
ZEIT ONLINE Initiative Brings Together Liberals and Conservatives 

Like Tinder, but for politics, the initiative brings people of vastly different political persuasions together to have a civil conversation.

Read about their process and the outcomes of this thought experiment.


Preventing Hate Speech and Spam with AI

Between bots, trolls and bigots, the internet can be a scary place. The German startup Conversario uses AI to monitor a site's comments against unwanted speech and trolling users

They spoke with us about how it works and what projects they're working on.


©David Pierce Brill
Bavarian Accelerator Supports Media Startups

Media Lab Bayern focuses on media startups, bringing together journalists, IT experts and entrepreneurs to find the most innovative solutions to problems in the media industry. 

On our site you can learn about them and some of their most successful startups.


The Role of Blockchain in the Energy Transition, 06-18-19 ©Nathalie Schueller

If you're in the NYC area, don't miss out on these exciting events we will be hosting in February!

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