Docuseries Created as Science Became Further Politicized During Pandemic Lockdown; Virtual Event with Producers and Science Experts to Take Place April 28
Contact: Jon Purves
The Aspen Institute
Robyn Lane Productions
Los Angeles, CA, April 12, 2021 – Link TV, the satellite service connecting viewers to the world, announced today the world premiere of the new documentary series INFODEMIC: Global Conversations on Science and Misinformation, produced by the Aspen Institute Science & Society Program and Robyn Lane Productions. The series dives into the costs of science misappropriation and denialism, and offers solutions to the challenges that science faces on a global level.
INFODEMIC features top science experts from around the world, including young Sudanese climate journalist and activist Lina Yassin (Climate Tracker), American author and philosopher of science Lee McIntyre (author of Post-Truth, The Scientific Attitude, How to Talk to a Science Denier, Newsweek cover story “The Earth Is Round”), Italian journalist/TV personality Massimo Polidoro (creator of YouTube’s Stranger Stories), and Brazilian microbiologist Natália Pasternak (founder of Question of Science Institute). INFODEMIC will premiere the first three Sundays in May beginning Sun., May 2 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Link TV (DirecTV 375 and Dish Network 9410) and will air on select PBS stations nationwide this summer.
Repackaged digital episodes will be available for streaming in the U.S. simultaneously with the broadcast at linktv.org/infodemic, while streaming will be made available for international viewers the following day at www.youtube.com/aspeninstitute.
As a prelude to the broadcast and streaming launch, a virtual public event will be hosted on Wed., April 28 at 5 p.m. PT, featuring the series’ executive producers and a panel of international science experts featured in the series from Brazil, Sudan, the Philippines and the United States. For more information or to participate in the virtual premiere event, please visit https://www.aspeninstitute.org/events/infodemic-documentary-series-launch-event/.
INFODEMIC will telecast as follows on Sundays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Link TV (subject to change):
“Dousing Denial” – May 2
Investigates the roots and repercussions of science denial in the U.S. and China, from climate change to COVID denial. Also, a young Sudanese journalist creates climate change awareness throughout Islam as she confers with a leading climate scientist from France on climate action and solutions. Includes: American author and philosopher of science Lee McIntyre (author of Post-Truth, The Scientific Attitude, How to Talk to a Science Denier, Newsweek cover story “The Earth Is Round”) and young Sudanese climate journalist and activist Lina Yassin (Climate Tracker).
“Disinformation Divide” – May 9
Explores the politicization of science and its effects in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, Also, examines the consequences of disinformation and pseudoscience in India and Brazil and how disinformation plays a role in each of the four governments’ COVID-19 response. Includes: Brazilian microbiologist Natália Pasternak (founder of Question of Science Institute).
“Busting the Myths” – May 16
From debunking conspiracy theories and supernatural claims to revealing disaster cover-ups and bad science communication, scientific experts from Italy, Germany, the Philippines and Japan separate truth from fiction as they examine how to rebuild a post-COVID world where science is central and critical thinking is crucial. Includes: Italian journalist/TV personality Massimo Polidoro (creator of YouTube’s Stranger Stories).
The series was created under unique circumstances. In March 2020, INFODEMIC’s Director and Executive Producer, Robyn Rosenfeld, was scheduled to travel to Rome with a film crew to cover the Aspen Institute’s Global Congress on Scientific Thinking & Action, organized by Executive Producer and Director of the Aspen Institute Science & Society Program Aaron Mertz. Rosenfeld was producing a feature-length documentary examining siloed realities propelled by misinformation, featuring Aspen Congress participant Lee McIntyre. Suddenly, COVID-19 struck, and this rare convening of over 100 science advocates from over 50 countries was cancelled. Shortly after, Rosenfeld proposed an idea to collaborate with Mertz to produce a docuseries that would separate scientific fact from fiction during the pandemic and beyond, while working within the filmmaking limitations of lockdown.
“I was already in the process of investigating the disinformation divide in our country, including science denial, when the pandemic struck. But then, it was all happening at warp speed as science became further politicized and scientific misinformation spread rapidly across the globe,” remarked Director and Executive Producer Robyn Rosenfeld. “I wanted to document this unprecedented moment and also stylistically capture the frenetic sense that we were all experiencing under lockdown as our world was turned upside down.”
“From this global community of science advocates who have a common goal of making science a guiding force for all, I was gathering stories and lessons not found in mainstream American media,” said Executive Producer and Director of the Aspen Institute Science & Society Program Aaron Mertz. “I wanted to bring these underrepresented voices to as wide a public audience as possible so we could learn from others’ successes and pitfalls, and apply what we learn from the COVID-19 pandemic to how we tackle other scientific crises like climate change and respond to natural disasters.”
The series has been supported by the Aspen Institute, Laura and Gary Lauder Family Venture Philanthropy Fund, Rita Allen Foundation and Instituto Questão de Ciência (Question of Science Institute) in Brazil.
Join the conversation on social media using #Infodemic
About LINK TV
Founded in 1999, Link TV is an independent viewer-supported media organization dedicated to providing programs that engage and inform its audiences with unique perspectives, and empower them to become involved in the world. Reaching more than 21 million U.S. satellite households nationally (DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH Network channel 9410), Link TV connects American viewers with people at the heart of breaking events, organizations at the forefront of social change and the vibrant cultures of an increasingly global community. Select programming from Link TV is also available for streaming on Apple TV, YouTube and Roku platforms. For additional information about Link TV productions, web-exclusive content and program schedules, please visit linktv.org.
About The Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. The Aspen Institute Science & Society Program seeks to elevate public trust in science and help foster a more diverse and more societally engaged scientific workforce. For additional information about The Aspen Institute, please visit aspeninstitute.org and aspeninstitute.org/science.