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Vaccines, Anti-vax, and Health Communication Workshop Offered

Tuesday 28 Aug 18


Emilio Mordini
Responsible Technology
The COMPARE Work Package 10 (Risk Communication Tools) has organized the Vaccines, Anti-vax, and Health Communication Workshop for 26-27 October 2018, near Pordenone, Italy. Working language of the workshop is Italian.

COMPARE is a multidisciplinary research network that has the common vision to become the enabling analytical framework and globally linked data and information sharing platform for the rapid identification, containment and mitigation of emerging infectious diseases and foodborne out-breaks.

COMPARE also addresses health risk communication in new and emerging epidemics. The notion of risk in medicine has been often misunderstood, and modern data science makes health risk communication still more complex.

Today we speak of data storytelling, meaning that in the big data era effective communication is increasingly relying on narratives and storytelling rather than on neutral scientific reports. Borders between truth and pseudo-truth, science and fiction, are thus becoming dangerously blurred.

Vaccine and vaccination offer meaningful examples of such a difficult communication dynamic. Since Jenner, vaccination has generated controversies; however, the extraordinary success of vaccination campaigns in the second half of 1900s seemed to have dispelled most doubts among people. Surprisingly enough, in the beginning of 2000s, vaccine hesitancy and refusal are instead increasing again, infecting significant sectors of the public opinion, media (notably new media), and policy makers.

Vaccine hesitancy and refusal are complex phenomena, indubitably due also to disinformation, scientific illiteracy, medical quackery. Yet, medical education, correct information, prosecution of charlatanism are not enough, although essential. Why so many educated people, even apparently scientific literate, distrust vaccination and believe in unbelievable conspiracy theories concerning vaccines? The crisis of trust, involving scientific expertise and health communication, demands a more in-depth analysis.

For more information about this workshop, please refer to the brochure and contact Emilio Mordini at
27 JANUARY 2021