2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
    
    Feb 16, 2019  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog

IDCE 30338 - RUMORS, CONSPIRACIES, MISINFORMATION, AND HEALTH


This course will look into different dimensions of risk in health, including the role of rumors, which can be a consequence or catalyst of unsafe health behaviors, conspiracies, and misinformation.

Why do rumors and conspiracies attract so many believers? What are the implications of these statements and beliefs on health? How do we, as community health practitioners, inform the population on these important health matters, despite their unwillingness to believe the counter evidence?

In some situations, rumors can have a positive role, lending information on outbreaks, or conveying appropriate caution. But in others, they can have catastrophic effects on individual and community health.

The course will start by taking a look at historical obstacles to public-health initiatives such as early rejection of the smallpox vaccination campaigns. The course will examine of a number of case studies where health projects or initiatives did not go “as planned”; often situations where risks were not adequately considered and prepared for in the planning. Students will investigate what went wrong and what measures could have been taken to better anticipate or prevent the unexpected outcome.

Anticipated Terms Offered: Every other year