Christine Lagarde: Dialogue in a changing world

Lectio Magistralis by Ms Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, at the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Turin, 29 November 2021.

Central bank speech  | 
30 November 2021
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 |  7 pages

It is a great pleasure to participate in this colloquium on science diplomacy.

The task of separating truth from falsehood has plagued policymaking for centuries. During the Roman civil war following the death of Julius Caesar, Octavian famously prevailed over Mark Antony by spreading "fake news" about his fitness for office. He did so via slogans forged on specially commissioned coins – an early version of a tweet.

Today, this task of distilling the truth is more urgent than ever.

We have seen during the pandemic how quickly misinformation can spread – be it about possible treatments, such as drinking chlorine, or about the safety of vaccines. Indeed, falsehoods on Twitter are found to spread about 10 to 20 times faster than facts.