Civic Media Session: "What's Your Information Diet?" | MIT Center for Civic Media

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 -
5:00pm to 7:00pm

MIT Media Lab, E14, 6th floor "Silverman Skyline Room"

If we are what we eat, does it hold that we are also what we read and watch? You've made a New Year's Resolution to eat healthy, but do you ever consider what you feed your brain? When's the last time you took a critical look at the news and information sources that help you form opinions, learn new things, and generally live your life?

Center director Ethan Zuckerman will discuss these questions with Clay Johnson, author of The Information Diet, and Sean B. Cash, Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

We'll have a lively, interdisciplinary conversation about health and sanity in an age of overconsumption, and how to best design tools to help people.

About the Speakers

Zuckerman is leading a research project at the Center for Civic Media to help people visualize their media diets and create a nutrition label for the news so consumers and news providers can make better decisions. The platform is under active development.

Clay Johnson just published an extremely relevant book, The Information Diet, on the same topic (and much more). Clay argues that we can alleviate a host of our society's problems if we take a more critical look at the information sources that make up our diets. Previously, Clay directed Sunlight Labs at the Sunlight Foundation and founded Blue State Digital.

Given the shared use of the nutritional metaphor, we're lucky to have on hand an expert in the field of nutrition. Sean B. Cash researches how food and nutrition policies affect both producers and consumers, including the efficacy of food label and price interventions as public health tools. Sean also studies how consumers value social aspects of food relative to other attributes, and how point-of-sale health messaging impacts consumers’ demand for food.