Brooks presents research at WHO meeting on COVID-19 “infodemic”

Ian Brooks
Ian Brooks, Research Scientist

Ian Brooks, iSchool research scientist and director of the Center for Health Informatics, and Sebastian Garcia Saiso, director of the Department of Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), presented their preliminary social media analytics research on COVID-19 at the World Health Organization (WHO). 

"This was a two-day global event attended by more than 1,300 people organized by WHO in less than a week to get advice on how to handle the information deluge or 'infodemic' resulting from COVID-19," said Brooks.

Brooks and Garcia Saiso worked with Joseph Yun, research assistant professor of accountancy and director of the Data Science Research Service at the Gies College of Business, and a team from the Social Media Lab at Technology Services. They found Twitter volume about COVID-19 increased rapidly to almost 30 million Tweets per day after Italy was locked down, with over 538 million in March alone. In the PAHO region, almost half of the Ministries of Health are not using Twitter to communicate with their citizens, and those that do are using an inconsistent variety of hashtags that can be identified as being from official sources (#PlanCoronavirus). The researchers recommended more coordination by WHO to avoid confusion and improve communication with the public through social media.

Brooks' research interests include public and global health informatics, epidemiology, cyberinfrastructure, data analytics, and One Health. He holds a PhD in biochemistry from Bryn Mawr College, MS in applied and engineering physics from Cornell University, and BSc in biophysics from the University of York in England.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Knox and Koh receive grant to study public library makerspaces

Associate Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Emily Knox and Associate Professor Kyungwon Koh have received a $100,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (LG-246251-OLS-20) for their project, "Measuring the Impact and Value of Makerspaces in Public Libraries." Knox will serve as principal investigator for the one-year exploratory project, which is a partnership with Indian Trails Public Library District in Wheeling, Illinois, that was initially proposed by iSchool alumna Ryann Uden (MS ’06), the library's deputy director.

library makerspace

New appointment for Trainor

The iSchool is pleased to announce the appointment of Kevin Trainor as a senior lecturer, effective August 16. He has served as an adjunct senior lecturer at the School since 2008 and as assistant director of the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS) from 2009 to 2011. In addition to teaching at the iSchool, he has taught full-time as a senior lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies.

Kevin Trainor

iSchool presents research at JCDL 2020

iSchool faculty, staff, and students presented their research at the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL 2020), which was held virtually August 1-5. The event brought together international scholars focusing on digital libraries and associated technical, practical, organizational, and social issues. 

IOPN to launch textbook series with titles by Wong, Wolske

The Illinois Open Publishing Network is excited to announce the upcoming release of two open access textbooks, Instruction in Libraries and Information Centers: An Introduction by Laura Saunders and iSchool Adjunct Lecturer Melissa A. Wong and A Person-Centered Guide to Demystifying Technology by iSchool Teaching Assistant Professor Martin Wolske. These textbooks represent the first in the Windsor & Downs Press series OPN Textbooks, which seeks to publish high-quality open access textbooks for higher education across the disciplines. 

Diesner to join IAspire Leadership Academy

Associate Professor and PhD Program Director Jana Diesner has been named a fellow in the second cohort of the IAspire Leadership Academy, a leadership program aimed at helping STEM faculty from underrepresented backgrounds ascend to leadership roles at colleges and universities. The IAspire Leadership Academy is part of Aspire Alliance's Institutional Change Initiative, led by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the University of Georgia.

Jana Diesner