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The Vice-Chancellor's Great Debate 2020 - STREAMING ONLINE

Facebook, Twitter @unibirmingham, Youtube
Wednesday 27 May 2020 (19:00-20:30)

"Trolls, flat-earthers and fake news purveyors: What are the challenges we face in trusting social media?"

We are proud to announce that the Vice-Chancellor's Great Debate will be broadcast for FREE on YouTube for the first time, on Wednesday 27 May at 19:00 (UK Time).

Everyone is welcome to join us for what promises to be a thought-provoking debate. Join the conversation on Twitter during the broadcast using the hashtag #UoBGreatDebate.

Ritula Shah, journalist and regular presenter of The World Tonight on BBC Radio 4, returns for a third year to moderate what promises to be a thought-provoking debate.

Anne McElvoy
Senior Editor, The Economist

Will Moy
Chief Executive, Full Fact

Isabel Oakeshott
Political journalist and commentator

Professor Alice Roberts
Professor of Public Engagement in Science, University of Birmingham

Social media has grown rapidly since the early 2000s and there are now an estimated 3.5 billion users worldwide. These online platforms have helped people stay in touch, make connections and share experiences. They have also helped give a voice to people who may not have had the opportunity to speak out before. And yet, there is a dark side to social media.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how misinformation can spread quickly and cause real harm. The growth of fake news, combined with increasing distrust some have of conventional news sources, can leave us open to manipulation that affects our day-to-day lives and even national political campaigns. Critics also highlight the prevalence of online abuse, particularly – but by no means exclusively – targeted at women and ethnic minorities. 

This event forms part of ‘The Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecture Series,’ which aims to reflect on the major social, scientific, cultural and policy issues of our time.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities