Surviving the Misinformation Age

Featuring: David Helfand

We all know the internet is ripe with misinformation, but David Helfhand argues the problem is more serious than we realize. Helfhand explains the damaging effect internet misinformation has on our thinking and on our beliefs, and warns that even skeptics aren't immune from believing falsehoods they read online. David J. Helfand, a CSI Fellow, has been a faculty member at Columbia University for thirty-nine years, serving half of that time as Chair of the Department of Astronomy. He is the author of nearly 200 scientific publications and has mentored 22 PhD students, but most of his pedagogical efforts have been aimed at teaching science to non-science majors. He instituted the first change in Columbia's Core Curriculum in 50 years by introducing science to all first-year students. In 2005, he joined an effort to create Canada's first independent, non-profit, secular university, Quest University Canada. He was a Visiting Tutor in the University's inaugural semester (Fall 2007) and served as President & Vice-Chancellor from 2008-2015. He is also recent completed a four-year term as President of the American Astronomical Society. His first book, A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age appeared earlier this year. He is a Fellow of CSI. This talk took place at CSICon on Saturday, October 29th, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.