Truth, Trust and Harm Online: London International Youth Science Forum

London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) is an impartial, accredited not-for-profit social enterprise that provides students with a deeper insight into science and how science can be used to benefit humanity. LIYSF aims to bring together young people from different nations to learn about each other through a shared passion for science.

Earlier this year, Dr Jason Nurse, Senior Lecturer and Public Engagement Lead foriCSS, led the student debate at LIYSF 2022, titled Truth, Trust and Harm Online: Who is responsible?

Dr Nurse led the discussion by examining a statement becoming more prevalent in current society, “data is the new oil”, as well the dangers of utilising data to spread misinformation or ‘fake news’. We have already seen how misinformation can spread quickly and to damaging impact on an international level.

The debate centred around a few key questions:

Who is responsible for verifying and ensuring the accuracy of online information
Is there a conflict regarding monitoring what is posted and taking it down that may infringe on people’s freedom of speech?
Governments often call for online companies to take responsibility and tackle the issue of misinformation, what can science/tech do to help us with this problem (i.e., identifying clearly fake or misleading information)?
Do you believe that deepfakes are a serious threat, and how would you look to solve this new problem?

Over 400 students in STEM attended this debate and took part in a fascinating and informative discussion.

LIYSF 2023 will take place from 26 July – 9 August 2023, and you can read more about the programme here.