Irena Vodenska to Lead Focused Research Program on Climate Misinformation

A new research effort led in part by Dr. Irena Vodenska, MET professor of finance, will not only grapple with the critical role of trust in communication as it relates to public opinion on climate change in the US, but also seek to find demonstrable solutions to the disinformation crisis.

The project, entitled “Data and Misinformation in an Era of Sustainability and Climate Change Crisis,” was selected by Boston University’s Hariri Institute for Computing and Institute for Sustainable Energy as one of the year’s winning Focused Research Programs, which harness the collective academic power of BU by encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration in areas of strategic importance and emerging opportunity.

Professor Vodenska, along with College of Communication Associate Professor of Emerging Media Studies Chris Wells and Institute for Sustainable Energy Senior Fellow Sarah Finnie Robinson, will examine the nature, origins, spread, and impact of misinformation and malign disinformation. They will also assess approaches to educating the misinformed.

The year-long study will center on:

  • How climate change misinformation spreads on social media and websites such as Reddit.
  • How native ads—designed to look like news stories—are employed by corporate communications campaigns.
  • The impact of disinformation on public opinion—and effective strategies for intervention.

Professor Vodenska serves as chair of the Department of Administrative Sciences at BU MET and is director of the MS in Financial Management (MSFM) program. She is an expert in network theory and complexity science in macroeconomics, whose research includes studying the effects of news announcements on financial markets, corporations, financial institutions, and related global economic systems.

Read more at the Hariri Institute.