CRCs unleash billion dollar inventions, but scientists need armour shield for cyberbullies

Cooperative Research Australia

Dr Woodthorpe’s address will celebrate brilliant Cooperative Research Centre innovations like the technology used in the Cochlear ear implant, space-age materials shell-casing Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, and some of the world’s best-selling dental and eye health care products.

But she will highlight deep concerns about the way scientists have been treated during the Covid-19 pandemic – particularly online.

Dr Woodthorpe will call on news organisations, and tech titans who own social media platforms: “Don’t amplify the denigrators and conspiracy theorists. Balance is not one climate denier vs one climate scientist. It’s 2000 scientists before the denier gets their chance.”

“Most scientists eschew the spotlight and really just want to get on with their research, but the world has changed and all of those who know that a better understanding of science can only help and not hinder us need to step up and communicate the value of what we are doing,” Dr Woodthorpe will tell the Press Club audience.

“The angry mob’s loudest voices have a huge pull and even seemingly sensible people have been sucked down their conspiracy black holes. And the effort it takes to refute any one of their articles, tweets or other postings takes an order of magnitude more that it took the conspiracy theorists and their trolls and bots to invent it and disseminate it.”

Please see full speech attached.

/Public Release.