What Makes a Conspiracy Theory?

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UC Davis Historian Explains Coronavirus Conspiracies

Kathryn Olmsted, a UC Davis professor of history and renowned expert on conspiracy theories, explained some conspiracy theories that have surfaced in the coronavirus pandemic in a recent podcast, “Coronavirus in California,” produced by the Los Angeles Times.

Kathryn Olmsted
Kathryn Olmsted, UC Davis professor of history

Conspiracies are natural, especially in the time of a crisis. And sometimes, they can spread like an epidemic, she said. There are plenty of conspiracy theories surrounding the coronavirus, she said, and there are more to come.

In many cases, people would prefer to believe that there is an invisible enemy rather than actual leadership in charge. There are partisan, anti-science, xenophobic and corporate conspiracies, she said in the podcast. Listen below.




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