Professor Steven Hoffman has received an Early Researcher Award (ERA) from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation for a five-year project entitled “Techno-Regulation for Improving the Quality of Health News Articles.”
News media is one of the most prominent sources of health information, yet heath news coverage is far from optimal. Individuals who rely on the media as a primary source of health information are often making decisions based on poor or misguided information. Professor Hoffman’s project aims to identify and evaluate strategies for improving the quality of health news reporting in Canada. Specifically, he and his team will conduct randomized controlled trials evaluating the impact of several high-quality health journalism practices, developing a novel machine-learning algorithm to automatically rate the quality of health news in real-time.
The Early Researcher Award program helps promising, recently-appointed Ontario researchers build their research teams of undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research assistants, associates, and technicians. The goal of the program is to improve Ontario’s ability to attract and retain the best and brightest research talent.
Professor Hoffman will receive $100,000 from the Ministry, with an additional $50,000 from the University in matching funds. He is only the fourth recipient ever to receive an Ontario ERA in the field of law – and all four have hailed from the Common Law Section. The first was Professor Daniel Gervais in 2005, then a member of the Common Law Section, now a professor at Vanderbilt University; in 2015 Professor Suzanne Bouclin received an ERA; and in 2016, Professor Jennifer Bond was recognized with the award.
Congratulations to Professor Hoffman on this well-deserved recognition!