Disinformation and the manipulation of reality

Virtual webinar organised by ALLEA and Re-Imagine Europa (RIE)

This session will explore the ethical dilemmas around disinformation and the use of narratives and emotions in manipulating reality. An increasingly influential stream of research demonstrates the integration of cognition and emotion in political decision-making. Political cognition is emotionally shaped. The role of narratives in shaping people’s minds has become an important area of research and debate, in particular in recent years when entire societies have made choices that seem “rationally” counterintuitive.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying ‘infodemic’ described by the WHO has placed science disinformation at the centre of global debates. In an ever more complex world, how do we address these issues? The outcomes of this debate will guide our work on developing a European Observatory on Narratives.

The expert panel includes:

Andrzej Nowak
Professor of psychology at the University of Warsaw, Chief Narrative Scientist at Re-Imagine Europa
Laura Smillie
Expert at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre
Marc Lynas
Cornell Alliance for Science
Stephan Lewandowsky
Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Bristol, Member of the Scientific Committee of the ALLEA “Fact or Fake” project on Science Disinformation

Moderated by: Erika Widegren, Chief Executive at Re-Imagine Europa


11 December 2020, 11:00 – 12:30 CET

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Open to the public. The panel session is part of the conference “International Forum on Digital and Democracy 2020” organised by Re-Imagine Europa. Registration is mandatory.



Daniel Kaiser
Scientific Policy Officer