Bankole Falade is a scientist, journalist and social psychologist with teaching and research interests in science (and health) communication; science, religion and public life; media and communications studies, text mining and survey research.
Taking an early exit from journalism in Nigeria where he was the editor of a national newspaper, he obtained a Masters in Social and Public Communication and a PhD in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Subsequently, he taught the MSC course, ‘The Social Psychology of Health Communication’ and was co-director of the MSc Health, Community and Development Programme at the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science (DPBS). He also lectured on a number of other courses at the MSc and undergraduate levels in Societal Psychology, Social Psychology of Communications and Methods for Social Research. He was at the University of Bielefeld, Germany as a post-doctoral researcher on the MACAS project – Mapping the Cultural Authority of Science funded by the ESRC (UK), DFG (Germany) and ISSRC (India). MACAS is a media informatics project involving longitudinal media mapping (1990 – 2013) of science articles from British, German and Indian newspapers with a combined corpus size of 50,000 articles and 36 million words.
His approach to science communication is multidisciplinary, drawing on theories from sociology, psychology and media studies to explain social phenomena. In these fields are social representations; co-production of knowledge; participatory approaches; diffusion and resistance to innovation; truth and validity claims; trust in science and scientists; familiarity, confidence and trust; risk perception and communication; science literacy, attitudes and public engagement; impression and crisis management and mass media studies.
Bankole is currently an International External Stakeholder in the design of the questionnaire for the Wellcome Global Monitor/Gallup World Poll on trust and attitudes to science in 140 countries and with Gallup UK on the perceptions and understanding of risk related matters in health, critical public infrastructure, emerging technologies, etc. He is also the data editor of the Cultures of Science Journal of the National Academy of Innovation Strategy, China Association for Science and Technology. Bankole is also on the advisory board of the International Research Network of the Centre for Science Knowledge and Belief in Society based in Newman University, United Kingdom. He is also actively engaged with international networks of researchers on text mining www.macas-project.com and the interaction between science and religion.
He has published articles in science communication, health communication and media informatics, trust and confidence in institutions, resistance to vaccines and the roles of religion, traditions, rumours and conspiracy theories in the uptake of science information in Africa. His book titled ‘Living with Science and Miracles’, a summary of his PhD thesis on vaccination resistance, religion and attitudes to science was released last year. His publishing profile is on ORCID https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1985-2273