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  • Created 09 Oct 2020

COVID Vaccination: From Science to Society

Combatting misinformation in science and medicine

The deadline for this opportunity has passed. Check back to see what the participants have to share at the end of the Spring 2021 semester. For updates on FMN opportunities in the future, please sign up for the QUBES newsletter

While the world is anxiously awaiting a C-19 vaccine, a vaccine itself will not be successful if enough individuals do not become vaccinated. Once a C-19 vaccine emerges from the dozens in development, the only way it will truly be successful is if enough people get the vaccine to create herd immunity. At the same time, vaccine hesitancy, like the use of face masks and social distancing, reflects the push and pull of individual rights versus community values, science vs non- science.

Colleges and universities have a unique opportunity and responsibility to respond NOW to the anti-vaccine and anti-science messaging through robust educational resources provided through this FMN. Grounded in the best practices of virtual education, materials will contribute to the urgently needed national C-19 vaccination education efforts.

Participants in this FMN will focus on how to use data-driven modules in undergraduate life science courses. Accepted applicants will customize and implement newly designed educational modules on these topics. While doing this, they will be presented with experts in their respective fields to create a foundation to understand COVID Science and Vaccine hesitancy to combat misinformation.


We tentatively will  meet Thursday at 11 am but will adjust according to participants schedules.

Starting from an understanding of the nature of science, the processes and methodology of uncovering evidence and the crucial analysis and predictive nature of science, this 6 session COVID Vaccine Hesitancy FMN begins.  Dr. Davida Smyth from the New School explores means to communicate the nature of science to the public and general education audience.  This session is followed by a more in-depth look by Dr. Trace Jordan into the nature of the coronavirus, what makes it unique, novel and deadly. We explore the nature of viral infections and how viruses evolve, mutate and infect the human body. Two compelling presentations by Dr. Robert Seiser center squarely on COVID-19 disease.  We explore the nature of vaccines, how COVID vaccines are made and their rigorous testing process and oversight. We look at the immune system response and the multi-organ nature of infection. Finally, after building knowledge and competency in the science of COVID, the action of vaccines the last sessions focus on vaccine hesitancy and the means to combat misinformation from a John Hopkins vaccine science communicator Dr. Meghan Moran and includes communication through an understanding of cultural identity by Dr. Ulla Hasager from the University of Hawaii- Manoa. This FMN takes a relatively naïve learner through the fundamentals to ultimately understand the power of Vaccination against COVID 19 with both prepared video lectures and a toolbox of activities that provide value added learning. 

Dates & Location:

The virtual kick-off will be held in mid-January, 2021 (date and time TBD). The FMN will continue online to support the customization and implementation of activities in your course during the Spring 2021 semester.


Commitment and Benefits of Participation:

To qualify, participants must be willing to incorporate the selected materials into at least two class periods (or equivalent) in their teaching during the Spring 2021 semester. Participants must also be able to commit ~1 hour per week for working with mentors and collaborating with other participants around the customization and implementation of the teaching materials. Additional time outside of these discussions may be required for independent work on adapting and reviewing modules.

**Access to teaching modules- participants will incorporate at least two of the selected materials in Spring 2021 classes (selected modules can be found here)

**Online support throughout the process of implementing new materials in your course.  Access to peer mentors on lecture/classroom/lab effective tips and strategies in small group virtual meetings every two weeks

**Recognition for your contribution(s) of open educational resource(s)

**A completion letter documenting your work in the network



If you have questions, please feel free to contact Deb Rook (deb "dot" rook "at" bioquest "dot" org) or Karen Oates (koates "at" wpi "dot" edu).