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Truth, Skepticism, Complexity

Thinking in a Post-Truth Age

This series seeks to address the epistemic crisis of our society and how it relates to what we do as scholars and teachers. Additional programs in the series are in development. Stay tuned.

Campus Fishbowl: COVID-19 and the Ethics of Vaccines

February 22, 2021
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Reaching a threshold of “herd immunity” will be key to suppressing COVID-19 and resuming more normal operations in our businesses and institutions around the world. But what does the rollout of the vaccination look like in the U.S. and globally, and what ethical considerations are made in developing the policies and protocols for administering it? Who can get the vaccine, and who is required to take it? Do we have a moral obligation to be vaccinated? Should Holy Cross require students to be vaccinated? This fishbowl discussion features Rev. William Stempsey, S.J., and Jameliah Shorter-Bourhanou (Philosophy), Geoffrey Findlay (Biology), Denis Kennedy (Political Science), and Mary Doyle Roche (Religious Studies), moderated by Thomas M. Landy, Director, McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture.

Public Health Reporting in a Pandemic of Disinformation

Caroline ChenMarch 1, 2021
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How do reporters handle potentially unreliable and fast-changing information, data, and narratives during a pandemic when readers are hungry for information? How do journalists combat misinformation without inadvertently elevating conspiracy theories? Is there even a "capital T" Truth to be found when scientists are still learning about a novel virus? And is it considered activism or biased to "advocate" for a certain course of action when public health measures like masks become politicized? Caroline Chen, an investigative health reporter for ProPublica, discusses how she's navigated these questions while reporting on the pandemic. Previously, Chen worked at Bloomberg News, where her coverage included the unraveling of blood test maker Theranos and the 2014 Ebola outbreak.