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ScienceUpFirst is a Canadian initiative launched to counter misinformation online, especially about COVID-19. Launched January 25, 2021, [1] it brings together independent scientists, health care providers and science communicators. [2]


Goals and history

The initiative is the result of conversations between Senator Stan Kutcher and Timothy Caulfield, who were discussing ways to counter misinformation about COVID-19. It is organized around the Canadian Association of Sciences Centres, COVID-19 Resources Canada and the University of Alberta's Health Law Institute. [1] [3]

The groups aims at disseminating information created by its members or selected from credible sources. Starting in March 2021, it also plans to track misinformation online and post science-based content to oppose it. [3] [4] In addition to recruiting athletes and celebrities, it's building a network of volunteers to increase the distribution of the selected information. [5] [6]

The initiative will be especially active against misinformation about COVID-19 vaccination, which threatens to have an impact on vaccination rates. [5] [7] Caulfield commented that the amount of disinformation circulating in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in unlike anything experienced in decades. He hopes the campaign can get information to people looking online for reliable information. [4]

The campaign is active on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. [4] It tries to apply best practices on fighting misinformation that were identified by various studies on science communication and public opinion. [4]

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  1. 1 2 ScienceUpFirst (Audio). CJAD. 24 January 2021.CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  2. "ScienceUpFirst". ScienceUpFirst. Archived from the original on 26 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  3. 1 2 "How we're fighting misinformation". ScienceUpFirst. Archived from the original on 26 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Your Morning (Video news report). CTV. 26 January 2021.
  5. 1 2 Baig, Fakiha (25 January 2021). "'ScienceUpFirst:' Social media campaign targets COVID-19 misinformation with science". CP24. Archived from the original on 26 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  6. Aguzzi, Maria Gabriela (25 January 2021). "COVID: Expertos canadienses unidos para combatir desinformación sobre la vacuna". Radio Canada Internacional (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 26 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  7. Riga, Andy (25 January 2021). "COVID-19 updates, Jan. 25: Cases, hospitalizations drop – Quebec reports 1,203 infections, 43 deaths". The Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 26 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.