Carnegie Mellon University

Center for Informed Democracy & Social - cybersecurity (IDeaS)

CMU's center for disinformation, hate speech and extremism online

IDeaS Center for Informed Democracy & Social-cybersecurity

Spring 2022 Seminar Series

Monday, January 24 | 5:00-6:00pm 

Misinformation, Mistrust & Media: The Story of COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

Jaime E. Sidani, PhD, MPH, CHES & Beth L. Hoffman, MPH

University of Pittsburgh 

Register here:


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the topics of vaccine hesitancy and vaccine misinformation to the forefront.  While the presence of these phenomena is well-documented, less is known about strategies to effectively counter the spread of this misinformation and the historical context of the anti-vaccine movement. Synthesizing recent research on COVID-19 vaccine uptake with research on anti-vaccine rhetoric on social media, this presentation will integrate the current landscape of vaccine hesitancy into a broader historical framework. This presentation will also provide attendees with strategies for developing tailored messages to respond to vaccine misinformation and promote vaccination among their online and offline networks.

Brief Bios:

Jaime E. Sidani, PhD, MPH, CHES is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at Pitt Public Health. A trained health educator, her research has focused on the epidemiology and prevention of emerging tobacco products, associations between media exposure and health, and the presence and spread of health-related information and misinformation on social media. She has presented extensively on COVID-19 misinformation and its potential impacts on vaccine uptake.

Beth L. Hoffman, MPH, is a PhD candidate in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at Pitt Public Health. Her research primarily focuses on the public health implications of the portrayal of health topics on popular television programs, and the spread of health information and misinformation on social media. Her research examining the anti-vaccine movement on social media has been featured by multiple news outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, and a February 2020 documentary on the Hulu streaming service.

Upcoming Speakers - Spring 2022 Series Schedule

February 7 - Travis View, QAnon Anonymous Podcast

February 28 - Sam Gregory, Witness

March 14 - John C. Yang, Asian Americans Advancing Justice 

March 28 - Graham Brookie, Atlantic Council DFRLab

April 11 - Susan Benesch, Dangerous Speech Project

April 18 - Rebekah Tromble, Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics, GWU 

April 25 - Ingrid Sturgis, Howard University

The IDeaS Seminar series will be held during Spring and Fall semesters. Most seminars are live streamed and available on our YouTube page after the event.

If you have suggestions for speakers, please submit them here.

If you have questions about upcoming seminars, please use the contact us link below.

Past Seminar Presenters

Ananya Sen - Quantifying the User Value of Social Media Data

ananya sen

Daniyar Serikov - Distortions in the Kazakh Media Landscape

grayscale globe with Kazakhstan highlighted by its flag

Jessica Dawson - The Surveillance App Economy and the National Security Risk

Jessica Dawson

Joshua Tucker - The (Surprisingly?) Limited Impact of Russia's Election Interference on Twitter in the 2016 US Election

Joshua Tucker

Yan Leng Ph.D. - Analysis of misinformation during the COVID-19 outbreak in China: cultural, social and political entanglements

Yan Leng