Two visits by MEPs in Oxford, Dr Paul Rübig and Ms Julie Girling

Paul Rübig, First Vice-Chair of the STOA Panel, visited Oxford

Two weeks ago, it was a pleasure welcoming Dr Paul Rübig, our first Vice-Chair of the STOA panel, in Oxford. Maundy Thursday was a terrible rainy day, with unrelenting rain.

We met Dr Lucas Graves from the Oxford Reuters Institute for the study of journalism. It was an stimulating exchange of views on fact checking in journalism. Fact checking is a key issue for the European Science Media Hub, as can be read on the STOA website . The European Science Media Hub (ESMH) is a new platform to promote networking, training and knowledge sharing between the European Parliament, the scientific community and the media. The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is a globally focused research center at the University of Oxford. It tracks world media, its trends, developments and forecasts by connecting relevant and engaging academic research with journalistic practice, linking rigorous analysis with practical experience.

Lucas Graves is a Senior Research Fellow studying how news and news organizations are changing in the contemporary media ecosystem. As an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he has written on the economic, professional, and technological currents shaping news production today, and on new journalistic voices such as bloggers and fact-checkers. Lucas has been at the forefront of research on the fact-checking movement in the United States and all around the world, and authored a book ‘Deciding What’s True: The Rise of Political Fact-Checking in American Journalism’. It goes without saying that this was an interesting meeting in the light of the European Science Media Hub. We learned about the fact checking movement and machine based fact checking.

For those of you interested, you could find quite impressive reports related to Dr Graves’work on the Reuters Institute website: The Rise of Fact-Checking Sites in Europe, a report on automation of fact-checking, and for those with high interest in the global fact checking movement, here is a huge directory of research on fact-checking and misinformation.

Combined with a smell of Oxford’s history…

We combined this interesting meeting with Lucas Graves with a lunch in the High Street. It was then followed by a visit to the nearby college, the Oxford Brasenose College, accompanied by Mrs Rübig. Being an engineer, Paul Rübig was keen on visiting the Museum of the History of Science, which houses an unrivalled collection of historic scientific instruments in the world’s oldest surviving purpose-built museum building , next to the Old Ashmolean and opposite the impressive Blackwell’s bookshop. For those who ever want to visit this science museum, I can suggest three ‘curiosities: a Chinese scent watch, a huge pastel painted image of the moon, which took more than 30 years to be completed, and a boat speed meter (knot-counter), on the ground floor, stairways and upper floor respectively. The basement used to be the first dissection room of the university.

Some photos:




Second visit from the European Parliament:
Julie Girling, MEP, guest at the European Studies Centre at St Antony’s College of the University of Oxford on 13 April 2018

This Friday, April 13, I had the pleasure to welcome Ms Julie Girling at the European Studies Centre. Her visit was a follow-up of the event ‘Fact Checking Science: Shaping the governance of scientific advice in the EU’ that she had hosted at the European Parliament at the end of January.

I am conducting a series of interviews with key actors in the broad science-policy ecosystem, and Julie Girling is a crucial actor in this area.  So, we had an inspiring talk on scientific evidence and policymaking.

Ms Girling will also be a discussant at the final presentation of my findings during the EU fellowship in Oxford on Friday, 8 June, which is indeed a great honor, for me and the European Studies Centre.


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EU visiting fellow at the European Studies Centre, St Antony's College, University of Oxford

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