SOCIAL MONITOR - COVID19 - FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN
Aggregate all scientific results on the effectiveness of health measures during pandemics
We aim to build a platform to index all scientific publications on virus spreading (in closed and open spaces, the effects of coughing and sneezing, etc.), and on the efficiency of health measures such as the use of masks, interpersonal distance, and lockdowns.
Each source will be reviewed and summarized into its main results, statistics, infographics, and their context of applicability. All results will be freely accessible to everyone on the platform. Different results can be compared and aggregated to reach consistent and objective answers.
Why this project
Since the beginning of the pandemic, substantial amounts of information were shared on the spreading of the SARS-Cov-2 virus and on the efficiency of social distancing, the use of masks, and vaccination. We heard and read many debates on television and social media on these many complex questions, but we are often provided with opposite opinions not supported by references to literature, or, at times, even supported by opposing scientific results. Likewise, in debates with our peers or on social media, we are often not able to form ourselves a clear opinion and understand what are the relevant sources to cite.
Social Monitor is a platform that aims to index and summarize all scientific publications and official sources on issues of social concern into their main results. The platform helps users to quickly search for information read or heard on media, check if they are supported by scientific publications, if there is scientific agreement on that result, and what is the context of applicability of each study. The platform helps everyone to understand, through guidelines, infographics, and a clear interface, how observational
studies, surveys, theories, and laboratory-confirmed results lead to scientific evidence. This objectively supports or refutes opinions shared in the media, and guides the opinion forming. The goal of Social Monitor is to provide the public with all necessary tools to properly understand social issues, enhance the collective discussion (based on reliable and objective information), and lead the public to understand the consequences of our actions as a global society.
How it works
If we, for example, would like to verify it is true or not that Covid19 is transmitted by air, we would visit Social Monitor's landing page. We would then enter in the search bar the question “Is Covid19 airborne?”, or we would click on the topic “Pandemics'' and navigate step-by-step through the sub-topics (“Covid19”, and “Transmission modes”) until we reach “Airborne transmission”. The page would contain a statement on the evidence (no-, low-, medium-, or high-evidence) of that specific information and the list of supporting sources, or, if evidences are low or missing, a likelihood statement evaluated via an analysis of evidences of other events that affect the aforement topic. Below the statement we would moreover find a multitude of supporting third-party informational material such as infographics, interactive monitors, and artistic visualizations.
In our specific example, as shows in the proof of concept currently hosted on the home page of Social Monitor, there is “no laboratory-confirmed evidence for Covid19 airborne transmission” due to lack of studies. We would hence find a likelihood statement, that we will evaluate along the pilot phase of this project, and that can be validated by each user through the use of advanced functionalities.
A person who speaks (with the exception of superemitters) emits, depending on the intensity of the voice and related to particles of 1 μm on average, from
1 to 50 particles/s
(0.03 to 3 particles/cm3)
Droplets emitted during sneezing and coughing, under conditions of high humidity (90%) and due to turbulence effects, can have an evaporation time much higher than classical estimates, up to
166 times longer
Map of dependencies
The map of dependencies will show the taxonomy of sub-topics associated to the searched topic, their sources and evidences, and how they affect each other (for example how Viral load affects Infectiousness, Emission of particles from the mouth, including with/out masks, Ventilation, etc.). In the case of the airborne transmission of Covid19 there is a high-evidence (evidence statements will be refined during the pilot phase) that any person emits 1-to-50 particles/s with diameter of 1 µm while speaking; there is a high-evidence that droplets of 10 µm diameter we emit when we cough or sneeze may travel 2-to-3 meters before evaporating in high (90%) relative humidity environments due to turbulence; there is medium-evidence that any type of mask is ineffective if not well-fit on the face of the source; etc. All these results connect to each other in the map of dependencies, so that any user can understand what are evidence and studies currently available on that specific topic, and how they affect the evaluation of evidence and likelihoods.
The context comparison functionality helps users to understand what is the scientific agreement on a topic, and how it evolved with time. By clicking on a single publication the user can further explore what is the exact citation, year, journal, authors, and doi of the publication, and the context of the study (e.g. the experimental setting). The user can then employ the functionality to see how many publications are in favor or against a certain statement and why, by comparing the context of the publications. If the statement is a quantity, the platform helps to visualize in a graph all (or a filtered selection) of the results with their confidence level intervals. This feature also shows how certain results change over time, connecting publications that progressively improve and extend specific studies, and displaying how results change as the experimental setting changes.The user can then further investigate directly into the publications s/he finds relevant. At the end of the research, the user has either acquired a very robust and in-depth overview on that specific topic in a rather short time, or reached a very quick and precise answer, aware that s/he can validate it anytime and in full transparency.
Social Monitor will innovate the way people inform themselves and discuss on social media about issues of collective concern. In the example of the pandemic, it will provide such a clear and transparent evaluation on the efficiency of measures like social distancing, masks, and ventilation, that a shift of mentality and habits of citizens is expected to happen. This shift will extend and strengthen topic by topic, until this new discussion format based on exploring and validating scientific results becomes the usual. The shift may moreover lead to a consistent growth of science outreach and science education activities, as well as more creative data visualizations and artistic installations, where data exploration is enriched with sensory and empathic experiences. This may lead to considerably strong innovation and meaningful social impact, in particular regarding climate change and violations of human rights.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have collected information to answer as many questions you may have regarding this project.
Yes, the project is Non-Profit. We make no revenue out of this project. The funds will be spent solely on the development of the technology, on the management of the program, and on the process of reviewing and indexing of the publications. All expenses are kept to the very minimum as described in the project details. The platform can be accessed for free by everyone and it containes no advertising nor it collects or sells navigation data. Note however that the technology will be developed as part of Goldmarck’s infrastructure.
During the recent pandemic we noticed a worrisome decrease of trust in science and media among the public. Much information was shared on the effectiveness of health measures, but this information was, at times, contradictory and rarely linked to any literature. This has led to a situation of confusion. We believe that by providing transparent access to all scientific results, we can help everyone learn and validate information on the impact of each prophylaxis measure, for the benefit of all society.
By funding us you make it possible to develop a free platform where people can access certified information and understand and discuss social issues on the basis of facts, hence hindering the spreading of fake news. We ask you for your support to make this happen! To all funders supporting us with pledges of at least € 20 we will send bi-weekly newsletters with the latest scientific results and interesting insights from behind-the-curtains of Social Monitor.
No, we do not use any Crowdfunding platforms. Crowdfunding platforms provide, in exchange for a fee, a safe environment that ensures to funders that they are supporting legitimate entities. Many platforms accept only All-or-Nothing campaigns, while Flexible Fundraising campaigns fit our projects better. We aim moreover to develop a closer relationship with our funders, based on trust and the sharing of values and visions.
In the case we do not reach the target through crowdfundings we will proceed with a sponsorship campaign to fund our program. However, we do prefer crowdfunding as the use of sponsorships may reduce the trust appraisal on how unbiased and independent our work is.
Most or all publications that we will review are peer-reviewed. This means that they were accepted for publication into international scientific journals after review of experts. While peer-review is not a complete proof of reliability, it significantly reduces the risk of accepting publications with major flaws. The successful reproduction of results by the academic community, and the comparison of results from similar studies, raises the reliability of the publications.
No, Goldmarck is not a Non-Profit company. We do believe that full transparency is the way forward for both Profit and Non-Profit organisations, to build trust with customers and the public. We do not collect and sell navigation data, we do not use advertising or biasing statements in any of our activities, and we use fixed metrics to evaluate prices and compensations to ensure each revenue stream is transparent. However, we do take into consideration opening a Non-Profit organisation to support our future activities that will benefit the public.
We believe that trust can be built on the basis of full transparency, as well as proven integrity. May you have any doubt regarding the way we use funds, or the reason at the basis of our project, we kindly ask you to contact us or our volunteer committees. The Peer-Review Committee is in charge of certifying that our work is done professionally, while the Transparency Committee is in charge of checking how funds are spent, and that no revenue is made out of the project. Any funder is entitled to be a part of the Transparency Committee. Both Committees are appointed at the end of the fundraising campaign.
We ask your support and rely on crowdfunding as we believe it is the most democratic form of financial support for social projects. It ensures that our work is free from any commercial third-party interest and is provided by the community for the community.
Once we reach the target we will set up a detailed project plan and timeline; then start the collaboration with the researchers and the committees; develop the platform; complete the list of all publications to index; and go through the review of all publications. It will take around 5 months to complete the project.
Social Monitor is a database of verified sources and objective information on social issues such as climate change, health crises, and violations of human rights. It aims to help the collective to clearly understand major changes in society and the world, their causes, and their consequences. The platform allows users to search statistics and other information. Results from different sources can be grouped and compared. Each result can be further explored to its original source.
Our team has analysists with doctoral degrees in Physics and Mathematics and experience in modelling and statistics. This combines with our corporate experience in Quality Assurance and Quality Control, Marketing Research, and Public Relations.