By Grégoire Lits updated January 2023
Since completing my PhD in political sociology in 2015, which focused on the role of experts, expertise, and citizen participation in decision-making processes related to radioactive waste management in Belgium, my research has focused on the evolution of various social problems in public and media spaces, as well as the roles played by experts, scientists, and different types of knowledge in these spaces.
I am particularly interested in the role of trust in public spaces and how it evolves over time in relation to different actors, such as politicians, experts, and journalists. As such, I have participated in various research projects over the last decade that address social problems such as radioactive waste management, poverty, the aging population, climate change, and more recently, the Covid-19 crisis and disinformation.
I have recently published several articles and research reports on topics such as the concept of an "infodemic" in relation to Covid-19, the concept of moral panics (co-authored with Céline Mavrot and Cédric Passard), and the connections between trust, anxiety, disinformation, and conspiracy theories.
2022-2023 - Belgian collaborator of the Harvard Trust in Science and Science-Related Populism (TISP) Many Labs Studies. Coordinated by Dr. Viktoria Cologna (Harvard University) and Dr. Niels G. Mede (University of Zurich). Topics: Trust in science, populism, conspiracy mentality.
2022-2024 - Automémo (with Antonin Descampe), development of a large corpus of french speaking press articles.
2021-2024 - Co-Pi (With Stephan Van den Broucke and Dominique Vanpee) of the project PANDORIX – Horizon of a Future Health Crisis: Brussels Population and Health Promotion. Topics: circulation of information in time of crisis, prospective research, trust in expert, media and public authorities.
2021-2023 - Co-PI (with Etienne Rivière and Axel Legay) of the project Smart and Social Home Care, funded by Innoviris. Keywords: Critical data studies, ageing, new communication technologies.
2020-2021 - Belgian coordinator of the international comparative research project in 8 countries: The role of communication strategies and media discourse in shaping psychological and behavioral response to the COVID-19 outbreak: an international comparative analysis. Coordinated by Mélissa Généreux, Université de Sherbrooke (Canada), funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research.
2020-2022 - PI of the project CoviCom: Analysis of the Covid19 infodemic in French speaking Belgium. Funded by the installing budget for young academic of the UCLouvain.
Ongoing Mentoring and Supervision
Supervision of the postdoctoral research program (2020-2024) of dr. Zoltan Dujisin: Disinfo Expertise in the Media Cold War, realised at the ORM/UClouvain, funded by the FSR MoveIn program and the CR FNRS grant.
Co-supervisor (with prof. Françoise Bartiaux) of the PhD thesis in environmental sociology of Line Vanparys (BEST program grant).
Supervisor of the PhD erasmus program of Yasar Sekerci (Galatasaray Üniversitesi) visting PhD student at the ORM for the year 2022-2023
Member of the thesis support committee of Kevin Carillon (PhD Title: RTBF in the age of big data technologies: algorithmisation and data governance in the Belgian public broadcasting sector) and Basile Godtbil.