2021 Inaugural Symposium

The Inaugural Penn Medical Communication Research Institute Symposium on "Preventing Medical Misinformation: Cross-Disciplinary Approaches" took place in October 2021.

View recordings from the symposium



  • Anne R. Cappola, MD, ScM, Director, Medical Communication Research Institute, Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine

  • Kevin Mahoney, MBA, CEO, University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS)

  • J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President, UPHS, and Dean, Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM)

  • John Jackson, Jr, PhD, Walter H Annenberg Dean, Annenberg School for Communication

  • Vijay Kumar, PhD, Nemirovsky Family Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS)

Session 1: Technology and Information Delivery

Real News, Fake News, and No News at All: A Data-Driven View of the Information Ecosystem
Duncan Watts, PhD, Stevens University Professor, Annenberg School for Communication, Operations, Information and Decisions (Wharton), and Computer and Information Science (SEAS)

Navigating Information Pollution: A Perspective from AI & Natural Language Processing
Dan Roth, PhD, Eduardo D. Glandt Distinguished Professor at the Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania, and the NLP Science Lead at Amazon AWS

Measuring Wellbeing Using Language
Lyle Ungar, PhD, Professor of Computer and Information Science, Bioengineering (SEAS), Genomics and Computational Biology (PSOM), Operations, Information, and Decisions (Wharton), and Psychology (SAS)

Provenance-Based Reasoning about Trustworthiness
Zachary Ives, PhD, Adani President’s Distinguished Professor and Department Chair, Computer and Information Science, SEAS

Session 2: Social Networks and Behavior Change

Complex Centrality: Spreading Misinformation vs. Reinforcing Facts
Damon Centola, PhD, Elihu Katz Professor of Communication, Sociology, and Engineering, Director, Network Dynamics Group

Curiosity in the Laboratory and Online
David Lydon-Staley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Communication, PI, Addiction, Health and Adolescence (AHA!) Lab

Complacency in Health Decisions
Dolores AlbarracĂ­n, PhD, Alexandra Heyman Nash Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor of Communication, Nursing, and Psychology, Director, Social Action Lab, Director, Science of Science Communication Division, Annenberg Public Policy Center

Persuasive Messages: A Core Component of Medical Communication
Joseph Cappella, PhD, Gerald R Miller Professor Emeritus of Communication

Preventing Medical Misinformation
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, PhD, Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication, Director, Annenberg Public Policy Center

Session 3: Medical Communication and Message Delivery

Penn Medicine Center for Digital Health
Raina Merchant, MD, MSHP, Professor of Emergency Medicine, Director, Center for Digital Health

Message Effects Lab
Jessica Fishman, PhD, Faculty Research Associate, PSOM and Annenberg, Director, Message Effects Lab

Identifying and Addressing Misinformation About the HPV Vaccine on Social Media
Melanie Kornides, ScD, RN, Assistant Professor of Nursing and Pediatrics

An Example of Collaboration in Medical Communication
Anne R. Cappola, MD, ScM, Director, Penn Medical Communication Research Institute, Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine

My Journey Toward the How and Why of Medical Communication
Kevin Johnson, MD, MS, Professor of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics (PSOM), Computer and Information Science (SEAS), Pediatrics and Communication

Concluding Remarks

Anne R. Cappola, MD, ScM, Director, Medical Communication Research Institute, Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine