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Thursday, 5 May 2022, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Barnard's Inn Hall

Breaking Democracy: Lies, Deception and Disinformation

Professor Andrew Chadwick

With conspiracy theories and disinformation on the rise in both media and politics, is our democracy at risk? We may lose trust in society, in the institutions that inform us, and, ultimately, in the democratic process. Our sense of responsibility for the everyday information we share may diminish. Deceitful politicians may escape scrutiny by claiming that truths are false, falsehoods are true, and in any case nothing can be proved. How should we respond to these challenges?


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Professor Andrew Chadwick

Andrew Chadwick (PhD, London School of Economics) is Professor of Political Communication in the Department of Communication and Media at Loughborough University, where he is also director of the Online Civic Culture Centre (O3C).

He researches the role of the internet and social media in political mobilisation, political engagement, news and journalism, and deception and misinformation. His books include the multi-award winning The Hybrid Media System: Politics and Power (Oxford University Press, 2017).

In addition to his next book, Andrew is currently working on new research that explains the diverse factors that lead to deception, amplification, and other aspects of the sharing of misinformation and disinformation on social media—part of a project that runs from 2021 to 2024 funded by the Leverhulme Trust. He also participates in an interdisciplinary collaborative project on the roots of Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy, with researchers in social and medical sciences from Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and Aston universities.

Andrew has appeared on BBC Radio Four’s Thinking Allowed, The Moral Maze, and The World at One. He has written for the British and U.S. press, including the Independent and the Washington Post, and his research has been reported by journalists in the UK, the USA, Finland, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, and Spain, among other countries, including in outlets such as The Times, Newsweek, CNN, the Independent, Bloomberg News, the Telegraph, New Scientist, First Draft, and the New Statesman.

Andrew has given keynote speeches in Canada, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom, and invited lectures in Austria, Canada, Italy, Norway, Spain, the United States, at many universities across Britain, and at other public institutions including the Parliament of Canada, the UK Parliament, the UK Cabinet Office, the US Congressional Research Service, the RSA, the US Embassy in London, the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), the Institute of Historical Research, and the European Parliament Information Office.

In 2019 he became an advisor (unpaid) to Clean up the Internet, an independent organisation concerned about the degradation of online discourse and its implications for democracy. In 2020 he joined (unpaid) the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s new Counter-Disinformation Policy Forum.


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