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Expert roundtable on Disinformation, Narratives and the Manipulation of Reality

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Start date: 11/12/2020
End date: 11/12/2020
Where: Virtual Meeting

Co-hosted by Re-Imagine Europa and Associazione Copernicani, the International Forum on Digital and Democracy will be held on December 10th-11th 2020. The two-day conference aims to be a meeting place between politics and academics and a moment of confrontation, promoting international collaboration through the exchange of information, ideas and best practices.

Re-Imagine Europa also decided to organise two side events, “Satellite Sessions” for which we have provided a limited number of seats to guarantee all participants the real possibility of interacting with the speakers, through the Q&A sessions that will be held at the end of the debate.

Anyone wishing to register can do so by writing to, specifying the chosen session.

It should be noted that the seats will be assigned on a first-come-first-served basis.

Disinformation and the Manipulation of Reality

This session, organised with ALLEA, will explore the ethical dilemmas around disinformation and the use of narratives and emotions in manipulating reality. An increasingly influential stream of research demonstrates the integration of cognition and emotion in political decision-making. Political cognition is emotionally shaped. The role of narratives in shaping people’s minds has become an important area of research and debate, in particular in recent years when entire societies have made choices that seem “rationally” counterintuitive. The COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying ‘infodemic’ described by the WHO has placed science disinformation at the centre of global debates. In an ever more complex world, how do we address these issues?

The outcomes of this debate will guide our work on developing a European Observatory on Narratives.


Day 1. 11/12/2020
11:00 - 12:30
Disinformation and the Manipulation of Reality
Chair: Erika Widegren


Andrzej Nowak
Professor of psychology at the University of Warsaw, Chief Narrative Scientist at Re-Imagine Europa
Laura Smillie
Expert at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre
Marc Lynas
Cornell Alliance for Science
Stephan Lewandowsky
Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Bristol, Member of the Scientific Committee of the ALLEA "Fact or Fake" project on Science Disinformation
Erika Widegren
Chief Executive at Re-Imagine Europa


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