Penn Nursing Center Joins with 50 Leading National Organizations to Curb Infodemic of Health and Science Misinformation and Disinformation
The creation of The Coalition for Trust in Health & Science, was formally launched during the 2023 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The alliance, which includes Penn Nursing’s NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health, was formed to unite leading organizations from across the entire health ecosystem to advance trust and factual science-based decision-making. NewCourtland Director, Mary Naylor, PhD, RN, the Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology, is part of the Core Convening Committee which spearheaded the creation of the Coalition.
The partnership aims to achieve a measurable increase in the public’s confidence in accessing and using evidence-based information necessary to make the best personally appropriate health decisions for themselves, their families, and the communities in which they live and work. Enhancing the perception and reality of the trustworthiness of the health and medical system is a key element of this goal.
Coalition’s Focus on Supporting Americans’ Health Decisions
The Coalition is focused on supporting Americans’ health decisions by helping them navigate the increasing amount of information available from an increasing number of sources. This is a long-term effort to address longstanding challenges around trust and new challenges brought on by the proliferation of social media.
The collective effort of the Coalition is focused on correcting misinformation and countering disinformation that decrease trust in health, healthcare, public health, and science and that has the potential to harm the public’s health.
Members of the NewCourtland Center are playing a pivotal role in the work of the Coalition. Center members are designing the Coalition’s Compendium. Dr. Naylor describes the Compendium as “addressing an unmet and urgent need for a repository of initiatives, research findings and key resources that will accelerate the efforts of organizations throughout the health and science ecosystem to increase the public’s trust.”
Coalition Aims to Provide Rapid Responses to Particularly Egregious Disinformation
A key aspect of the Coalition’s plan is to mobilize the breadth of its network of members to facilitate rapid-cycle debunking of particularly egregious disinformation and misinformation incidents that continue to emerge with concerning frequency and that have the potential to harm the public. Additionally, the Coalition has begun the creation of an online interactive Compendium of relevant programs operated or sponsored by Coalition members for the purposes of sharing ideas; stimulating collaboration; facilitating research while also identifying research gaps; enabling research findings to inform ongoing and new initiatives; supporting the spread of effective strategies; and fostering measurement of collective impact.
50 Member Organizations Representing Diverse Interests Join Coalition
The alliance is currently comprised of 50 national organizations representing basic and applied science organizations; health academicians; health services researchers; pharmaceutical manufacturers; physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other professional disciplines; public health professionals; health insurers; health regulators; ethicists; health humanists; foundations; health consumer organizations; and health consulting, policy and communications organizations.
Members share the Coalition’s vision that “All people have equitable access to and confidence in the accurate, understandable and relevant information necessary to make personally appropriate health decisions.” Additionally, members have pledged to 1) Support efforts to advance people’s scientific and health literacy, earn public trust and improve health outcomes and health equity, and 2) Work individually and collectively to correct misinformation and counter disinformation that threatens people’s health and well-being.