On March 2, 2023, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and 50 other national organizations announced the start of a coalition to advance trust in modern medicine and science-based decision-making.
The Coalition for Trust in Health & Science aims to help Americans “navigate the increasing amount of information available from an increasing number of sources,” said the announcement.
In order to “facilitate rapid-cycle debunking of particularly egregious disinformation and misinformation incidents” that has the potential of negatively affecting the public, a key component of the Coalition’s plan is to mobilize the broad scope of its network of members.
Equitable access to accurate information
In addition, the Coalition has started to develop an interactive online compendium of pertinent programs run or funded by Coalition members in order to foster communication, collaboration, and research while also identifying research gaps, the use of research findings to inform ongoing and new initiatives, the dissemination of successful strategies, and the measurement of overall impact.
“The United States is experiencing a tidal wave of misinformation and disinformation, which has real-world health impacts,” explained Dr. Reed Tuckson, the co-founder of the Black Coalition Against COVID, who convened the coalition.
The Coalition for Trust in Health & Science members agree that it’s important “all people have equitable access to and confidence in the accurate, understandable, and relevant information necessary to make personally appropriate health decisions.”
Health suffers from misinformation
Misinformation is believed to have a negative effect on health; a World Health Organization study published in September 2022 revealed that infodemics and misinformation have an influence on people’s health-related behaviors.
One example of this was presented in a Nature article published in February 2021, which claimed that, as of September 2020, fewer people in the U.K. and U.S. would agree to take a vaccine shot due to online misinformation—or even lack of access to information in some sociodemographic groups.
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