Taxpayer-funded workshops teach attendees to follow 'scientific consensus' not critical thinking

The entire basis of scientific research is to deal in probabilities, not certainties. Yet publicly-funded institutions seem more keen on parroting the 'scientific consensus' than teaching critical thought, critique and questioning.

Remove Ads

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research — a publicly-funded institution — continues its quest to become the holy grail of truth and information
through training workshops in science communication.

In previous reports, we have shown you how this institution has hired independent contractors to the tune of roughly $5,000 per workshop to train scientists, funders and researchers on science communication and how to combat whatever it is that they deem as “misinformation.”

Another workshop, “The ABCs of Health Misinformation,” aims to address “health-based misinformation” by “developing health- and science-related media literacy skills based on MediaSmarts’ ‘Check First, Share After’” campaign.

The instructor for this course was Matthew Johnson, the director of education at MediaSmarts, an Ottawa-based non-profit organization described as Canada’s “centre for digital and media literacy.”

Johnson took to Reddit three years ago to promote MediaSmarts, saying he was doing research and developing resources for parents, teachers and the general public on kids and media since 1996.

In the comments, someone asks Johnson about how MediaSmarts “(differentiates) between misinformation and critical or unpopular perspectives” while another notes that “MediaSmarts sponsors have been accused (with compelling evidence) of manipulating content to achieve political goals.”

Interestingly, Johnson responds “consensus is not what is repeated most often, it is the model that most of the experts in a field believe is best supported by the available evidence. Consensus can and does change in the light of new evidence.”

But how can that new evidence be brought forward where is a concerted effort to disregard, censor and label it as misinformation?

Take, for instance, the custom fact-checker search engine developed by MediaSmarts through its “Break the Fake” campaign — done in partnership with Big Tech giant Google — which allows users to use a programmable search engine to “fact check” articles through verified fact checkers.

In a short video describing the campaign, MediaSmarts equates the sharing of “false content” with “passing on COVID-19 itself. And that can be deadly”:

The “Check First Share After” campaign gives tips on how to check for original sourcing that should come from a trusted expert source, before checking what “public health authorities and government are saying.”

They must not be aware that those sources have been a source of confusing, conflicting information over the last three years, like when Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam told us don’t wear a mask in March of 2020, then flip-flopped two months later telling Canadians that they should wear masks.

Or when experts were telling Canadians that any old dried-up baby wipe or paper towel would do if they wanted to transform their lowly two-layer cloth mask into a super high-tech, three-layered filtering apparatus.

Or as though the mockery wasn’t on full display when Tam recommended masks during intercourse, or when British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry told everyone to use glory holes to avoid direct contact during intercourse to “stop the spread.”

So, who and what are the trusted and expert sources that MediaSmarts selects? Well, they say that a “trusted source has a good track record and a clear process for getting facts right, like a reputable news organization.”

Do they mean the CBC, who began issuing clarifications and corrections almost every other week in January 2021 after they became widely criticized throughout the pandemic for spreading false information, and have been criticized by seasoned journalists like Rodney Palmer for engaging in propaganda, not newsgathering.

MediaSmarts goes on to say that “an expert source, like a recognized scientist or health expert, has knowledge of that specific topic. Being an expert in one area doesn’t make someone an expert in everything. Would you ask a psychiatrist to replace a filling?”

Then why did we trust public health bureaucrats and their sycophants, who never had any direct patient care, to lead our entire society through this unprecedented pandemic and ignore the advice of everyone else? Especially those who wanted to see mitigation efforts put in place to protect targeted populations like the elderly and most vulnerable? Instead, these bureaucrats featured only those who wanted harmful, oppressive restrictions in place like lockdowns, economic sanctions and school closures.

After all, anyone who questioned that narrative was suppressed, slandered, smeared, censored and had their careers ruined. It showed others who felt similarly that they dare not question or they, too, would face the same fate.

As you scroll through the “Check First Share After” campaign page, at the very bottom it lists sponsors:

The custom fact-checker search engine partnership that MediaSmarts has with Google utilizes searches through fact-checkers that are notorious for not actually fact-checking, but rather opinion-checking and parroting the consensus.

MediaSmarts, their partners and whose vested interests funnel into this initiative, are vast and far-reaching.

But for now, how much was the director of education for MediaSmarts, Matthew Johnson, paid for the workshop on the ABC’s of Health Misinformation? And will any of his crucial presentation be made available to the public that funded this?

And how does Johnson reconcile his own comment from three years ago — that consensus is not what is repeated most often, and it can and does change in light of new evidence — with the fact-checkers who opinion-check and suppress anyone who questions that consensus?

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads