CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Kevin T. Leicht, a professor of sociology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, will testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight on Tuesday, Sept. 28.
Leicht’s remarks will focus on the role of internet disinformation in fomenting distrust of experts and established scientific knowledge, in particular with respect to COVID-19 vaccines and miracle cures.
Leicht and Alan Mislove, of Northeastern University, and Laura Edelson, of New York University, will co-present “The Disinformation Black Box: Researching Social Media Data” at 10 a.m. EDT. They will testify remotely via videoconferencing.
The hearing will be livestreamed at https://science.house.gov/hearings.
Leicht’s research centers on the political and social consequences of social inequality and cultural fragmentation. His current work explores the growing skepticism toward scientists and attacks on experts and established scientific knowledge spread via social media.
Leicht is the primary investigator on the National Science Foundation-funded project RAPID: Tracking and Network Analysis of the Spread of Misinformation Regarding COVID-19.
U. of I. faculty members Joseph Yun, the director of data science research services and a professor of accounting in the Gies College of Business; and Brant Houston, the Knight Chair Professor in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting in the College of Media; are co-primary investigators on the project.