Sussex Conversations

At Sussex we are proud of our strong tradition of bringing a wide variety of academic research to the wider community in an accessible way and our Sussex Conversations are no exception. These events are designed to seriously examine, question and challenge the world in which we live from different angles, creating new ideas that can help shape society. 

Sussex Conversations 2017: Demockery and the media in a post-factual age

What if we can’t believe anything anymore?

Certain stories have a tendency to catch on more than others and go viral. Stories feeding on anger or fear often enjoy more social transmission than stories with ‘boring’ or depressing content. Meanwhile, stories correcting, explaining or adjusting facts, fictions and forecasts have a hard time getting traction, not just on social media but increasingly on ‘mainstream’ media too. What goes viral is not necessarily true, and whatever is true doesn’t necessarily get a viral life.

Recent events have demonstrated politicians successfully communicate with electorates by getting feelings and narratives right, without worrying too much about facts.

The World Economic Forum has declared misinformation to be among the great challenges of our time: “The global risk of massive digital misinformation sits at the centre of a constellation of technological and geopolitical risks ranging from terrorism to cyber attacks and the failure of global governance.”

So how do you solve global challenges that require co-operation and co-ordination in a post-factual democracy where voter maximisation is key? And where politicians are distrusted and increasingly ignored.

Date: Wednesday 3 May 2017
Arrival time: 6.00pm. Doors close promptly at 6.20pm
Location: The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4BS
Ticket price: £10 each. This price includes a post-event reception with drinks and canapés

Panellists include:

Neil Breakwell, London Bureau Chief, VICE News
Ivor Gaber, Professor of Journalism, University of Sussex
Clive Myrie, Presenter, BBC News

More to be confirmed.

Chaired by Sarah Montague of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme (Sussex Honorary D.Litt.)

Book your place now!

This event is free for students and staff, please email events@sussex.ac.uk for a staff/student ticket.

You can watch back all of our previous conversations in full: