Facebook & Fake News: How Misinformation is Spread and Why We Fall for it.

Wednesday, November 20
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Anspach 162

Come learn about the role of social media in spreading "fake news" and the psychology behind why we believe untrue messages. After a screening of the PBS special The Facebook Dilemmapsychology faculty members Sarah Domoff, Kimberly O'Brien, and Kyle Scherr and experimental psychology graduate student Brian Kissell will lead a panel discussion. Sponsored by the Department of Psychology and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or brook1nc@cmich.edu.


Open-Label Placebos and Self-Deception

Presented by Dr. James Brian Coleman
Friday, November 22
2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Anspach 167

The placebo effect has long been seen as a kind of “fake news” of the medical world: intentionally deceptive medicine that happens somehow to have real results. But could placebos in fact be a sort of fake news patients tell themselves? Philosophy faculty member James Brian Coleman will discuss recent research on the placebo effect which shows that there can be a positive therapeutic result even when the patient is fully informed of the placebo’s inert content. The medical literature refers to such placebos as “open-label placebos.” Traditionally, objections to placebo use center on the apparent requirement of some degree of deception in their application, which violates requirements on respect for patient autonomy. But do open-label placebos involve some form of deception? The question this lecture pursues is whether open-label placebos imply self-deception. If so, is this ethically problematic? What are the implications of the relation between self-deception and autonomy for clinical medicine in general?

Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and Religion and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Andrew Blom at 989-774-3444 or blom1a@cmich.edu.



Past Events

Vaccination: When 'Fake News' Has Lasting Consequences

Wednesday, September 18
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Anspach 162
Open event flyer

Faculty and community members look into the origins of and controversies surrounding vaccinations and autism. We will explore the history of vaccination, hesitancy to vaccinate, vaccination myths, science, and autism. Presenters include:

  • Dr. Karen Rathmann
    Pediatrician, Isabella Citizens for Health
  • Dr. Ariel Cascio
    Assistant Professor, CMU College of Medicine
  • Dr. Melissa Tuttle
    Director, CMU Psychological Training and Consultation Center
  • Robert Wyse, M.S.
    Doctoral Student, CMU School Psychology Program

Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 orchristi.brookes@cmich.edu.



Faculty Panel on Fake News

Thursday, September 19
7:00 p.m.
Anspach 161
Open event flyer

Faculty from different disciplines will host a lively discussion of what they know, how they know it, facts, and truth. This is the kick-off event for the 2019-20 Critical Engagement initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It?

Panelists include:

  • Dr. Elbert Almazan, Professor of Sociology
  • Dr. Sarah Domoff, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Dr. Wendy Robertson, Assistant Professor of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
  • Dr. Ed Simpson, Associate Professor of Journalism
  • Dr. Greg Smith, Associate Professor of History & Chair
  • Dr. Joshua Smith, Professor of Philosophy
  • Bryan Whitledge, Archivist for University Digital Records, Clarke Historical Library (CMU Libraries)

Sponsored by the Critical Engagements initiative within the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or christi.brookes@cmich.edu.



D’oh! Pioneers: Unraveling Founding Myths with a Twitter Thread

Tuesday, October 8
7:00 p.m.
Anspach 162

With a little help from Lisa Simpson, Central Michigan University history faculty member Andrew Wehrman will offer a historian’s perspective on truth, fiction, and the stories we tell about who we are and where we came from. He will critique David McCullough's book, The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West, and offer a clear-eyed view of the founding of Ohio and the Northwest Territory. He'll also discuss his May 2019 viral Twitter post in which he shared his experiences unraveling founding myths of Marietta, Ohio, commonly described as the "first permanent settlement" in Ohio. 

Sponsored by the Isabella County Historical Society and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or christi.brookes@cmich.edu.


The Impeachment of President Trump: A Real Possibility or Just 'Fake News'?

Tuesday, October 15
4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Anspach 260

Join Central Michigan University faculty members for a seminar style discussion about the impeachment inquiry into President Trump and whether it's a real possibility. Department of Political Science and Public Administration faculty members Kyla Stepp and Jeremy Castle will facilitate the discussion. Coffee and cookies will be provided. Sponsored by the Department of Political Science and Public Administration and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? For more information, contact David Jesuit at 989-774-2795 or david.jesuit@cmich.edu.

>>View event video (links to Facebook)


Using Wikipedia in the Age of Alternative Facts:  Creating Student Expertise

Facilitated by Rachael Barron-Duncan (ART)
Friday, October 18
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Strosacker Room, Park Library

This year, the CLASS Excellence in Teaching and Learning Committee is considering the president’s call to programs that display “rigor, relevance, and excellence,” particularly in light of our Critical Engagement’s theme of “Fake News:  What Do We Know and How Do We Know It?” 

Our first workshop describes an assignment in Dr. Barron-Duncan’s current African Art course which tackles the common internet conundrum: the most “relevant” and popular sources often lack rigor and excellence. Looking at the misinformation or complete dearth of information on English-language Wikipedia regarding African visual culture, Dr. Barron-Duncan’s students have set about to supply the expertise needed to curate those pages in an academically responsible way.

Join us to discuss an example of how discipline-based content assignments can build source-analysis and critical-thinking skills. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by October 16 to class@cmich.edu.

Sponsored by the Excellence in Teaching and Learning Committee (ETLC) and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative.


Fabricated History: The Ban on German Aircraft History after WWII

Friday, November 1
3:00 p.m.
Park Library Auditorium

Central Michigan University history faculty member Lutz Budrass reviews the whitewashing of national histories, including a discussion about how the history of the German aircraft industry has been manipulated to conceal the participation of aircraft industrialists in Nazi crimes.

Sponsored by the Department of History and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or christi.brookes@cmich.edu.


The Naked Sphere: Trolls, Fake News & Other Audience Shenanigans

Thursday, November 7
7:00 p.m.
Moore Hall 107

Join us for a discussion on how CMU faculty are researching what happens in the public sphere, how consumers react to digital advertising, the impact of presidential rhetoric, Fake News and conspiracy on YouTube, and other matters. Panelists include Dr. Edward Hinck, Dr. Shelly Hinck, Dr. Jinhee Lee, and Dr. Zulfia Zaher from the College of the Arts and Media.

Sponsored by the College of the Arts and Media and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Ed Simpson at 937-243-4185 or simps1e@cmich.edu.


The Intersection of Environmental Reporting and Fake News

Thursday, November 14
7:00 p.m.
Park Library Baber Room

From climate change to cancer clusters to an algae menace that's on the rise globally and capable of killing you, award-winning environmental-energy writer and CMU alum Tom Henry will sift through scientific gobbledygook, political spin, and lobbyist agendas to make sense of fake news that's dumbing down society and threatening our very democracy. 

Sponsored by the Clarke Historical Library and the College of Liberal Arts and Social SciencesCritical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, please contact Bryan Whitledge at 989-774-2159 or whitl1br@cmich.edu.


The Alternative University

Featuring President Robert O. Davies and Dr. David Staley
Monday, November 18
5:30 p.m.
Park Library, Sarah & Daniel Opperman Auditorium
Open event flyer

Dr. David Staley, director of the Humanities Institute and associate professor of history at The Ohio State University, will discuss his new book, Alternative Universities: Speculative Design for Innovation in Higher Education, and innovative visions of higher education. Dr. Staley will be joined on stage by Central Michigan University President Robert O. Davies. 

Dr. Staley's book examines opportunities to re-envision the university. What do the universities of the future look like? What will the students of the future need? Will their universities have buildings, gen ed, or traditional disciplines?

Dr. Staley is also hosting a workshop for faculty & staff from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Please register here for the workshop. Seating is limited. 

Sponsored by the President’s and Provost’s Fund for Program Innovation and Excellence and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Critical Engagements initiative, which brings together students and faculty from across campus to consider pressing issues and challenging topics such as this year's theme, Fake News. For more information, contact Christi Brookes at 989-774-3341 or brook1nc@cmich.edu.