What are the patterns of production and diffusion of online disinformation? What is the impact of distrust and media disruption upon European public opinion in terms of democratic quality and support?
The challenge posed by the viral spread of misinformation has led to the birth of ALETHEIA, a Cross-disciplinary Center of Excellence, established at LUISS Guido Carli University to promote research and knowledge exchange on issues related to information, misinformation and forced polarization in online and offline media environments.
ALETHEIA, born on the initiative of the two Italian research institutes partners of the SOMA project, LUISS University and T6 Ecosystems, aims at building and reinforcing a multidisciplinary research network covering a wide range of topics of particular scientific and political relevance, all potentially affecting public risk judgments and trust in scientific authorities.
Different research areas covered by ALETHEIA’s founding members:
- Public opinion, media and political behavior with the contributions of LUISS Data Lab and LUISS School of Journalism, already involved in the Horizon 2020 SOMA project “Social Observatory for Disinformation and Social Media Analysis”, under the direction of Gianni Riotta. In parallel, the T6 Ecosystem team, in charge of the impact analysis for the SOMA, brings its consolidated research experience on the impact of new technologies on media and society at large;
- Algorithms, big data, and computing: ALETHEIA can rely on the contribution of a number of distinguished scholars at LUISS ‘Guido Carli’ University. Among others, Giuseppe Italiano, professor of computer science at LUISS University in Rome, known for his work on graph algorithms, data structures and algorithm engineering and Livia De Giovanni, professor of statistics and President of the “Massimo Baldini” School of Journalism. Furthermore, the “Mauro Picone” Institute for Calculation Applications of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) – IAC-, directed by Massimo Bernaschi, (manager Technologist and P.I. of the CRANIC group), will provide expertise in data collection and indexing and high performance computing;
- Employment and Labor, thanks to presence of ADAPT, the Association for International and Comparative Studies on Labour Law and Industrial Relations directed by professor Michele Tiraboschi of University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. ADAPT researchers bring their experience in the field of labour law and industrial relations with an international and comparative perspective.
- Health-related issues, a crucial area of disinformation in most Western societies. This research area is directed by Walter Ricciardi, professor of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine at Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan, former president of the Italian Higher Health Institute (ISS) and current Italian representative of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Truth, post-truth and alternative truth in contemporary societies, thanks to the contribution of Franca D’Agostini, Professor of Philosophy of Science at the Polytechnic of Turin and at the University of Milan, a prominent scholar of the relationship between logic, truth and politics.
All these scholars from different perspectives are thus currently engaged in efforts to study the complex causes for the viral diffusion of misinformation and to develop solutions to tackle this major global risk, which has the potential to undermine both science and society and finally threaten democratic regimes.
More information about the Centre, its activities and events can be found on ALETHEIA website.
Here’s a complete list of members, affiliations and areas of expertise.
Want to join the team or be updated about its activities? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org