Traveling facts and uncertainties
Flames spewing from the kitchen tap, injection needles in our food. Some of the images traveling across the internet and social media can be frightening. We have to take them seriously and develop creative and informative new images together with supporters and opponents.
Facts and fiction in images have a major impact on the public debate and decision-making when it comes to technological innovations. Both supporters and opponents use them to influence public opinion and get politicians and policymakers on their side. Some of these images can be overriding but not necessarily correct, and more knowledge and better communication by experts does not always help. This project is developing a dashboard to create better images of innovative technologies.
The researchers, who have backgrounds in philosophy, food processing and political science, want to better understand the impact of facts and fiction on public opinion and decision-making. In cooperation with a software developer and a process consultant, the team is working on:
- a digital “fact and fiction crawler” to explore new technologies on the internet and social media;
- a digital “dashboard of the imagination” with which stakeholders can develop new and more inclusive and balanced images, facts and uncertainties about new technologies.
Insight based on three developments
The research team will work on the basis of existing and new knowledge about potentially controversial technologies and instruments: 1) gas fracking and deep geothermal heat extraction in the transition to sustainable energy, 2) nanotechnology for healthier food and sustainable packaging, and 3) food logos and food labels for healthier products and consumption styles. To gain insight into the effect of traveling facts and uncertainties, this project will study how supporters and opponents deal with the media images.
travelling facts, facts, uncertainties, images, hydraulic fracturing, nanotechnology, synthetic biology, water, energy, shale Gas, CO2 reduction, agriculture, food logos, nutrient labeling, food, packagingOfficial project title: