‘Information, Misinformation and Disinformation:’ Symposium sorts it out at Morgan Library

Graphic of directional signs labeled information, disinformation, misinformationAll of us have been bombarded for months, even years, by news, fake news, information, misinformation, disinformation, alternative facts, confusing mentions of truth, lies, ideologies, opinions, beliefs, fiction, scientific findings and denials of scientific findings, predatory journals, and what Winston Churchill called “terminological inexactitudes.”

It’s time we discuss a subject that begs to be brought up in public: Facts.

And Colorado State University has the experts who can help us define what a “fact” is, and the impact of such a concept on our lives and our country.

Four faculty members from various disciplines will participate in a symposium on “Information, Misinformation and Disinformation,” March 1, 4-6 p.m., in the Morgan Library Event Hall on the CSU campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Panelists include:

  • Tim Amidon, assistant professor, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts
  • Benjamin Clegg, professor, Department of Psychology, College of Natural Sciences
  • Karen Dobos, associate professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Rob Sica, Social Sciences and Humanities Liaison Librarian, Morgan Library

“As a university, a public establishment that promotes a universe of thoughts, we can come together to define the meaning of a ‘fact,’” explained Patrick Burns, vice president for information technology and dean of libraries for CSU. “Right and wrong are not always so easy to define, as people with different views may use words differently. We might consider how the misuse of words impacts the country and the world.”

The topics the panel will address include:

  1. What is your definition of a “fact” and how does it differ from a “belief”?
  2. How are opinions formed, verified and extended?
  3. How has being bombarded by way too much information affected our ability to separate fact from fiction?
  4. How do you perceive the First Amendment influencing this trend?
  5. What might we, as employees of a land grant university, do in the future to address this trend?

“We expect the views expressed here will stimulate abundant, civilized discussions,” Burns said.

Parking is available in Lot 425 (accessible from South Shields Street and West Pitkin Street). No preregistration is required; seating is limited.

The Information, Misinformation and Disinformation Symposium is presented by CSU Libraries.