Scientists at Tomsk State University and the University of Plovdiv will find out how the myths about vaccination and homeopathy spread in Bulgaria. Using methodology developed at TSU, they will analyze Bulgarian social networks and forums and describe who most often discusses these ideas, where, and what arguments are given. By 2022, they will make a list of recommendations for the healthcare industry that will help prevent the spread of misconceptions. The project was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation of Bulgaria. The project manager is Ivan Chalakov, professor at the University of Plovdiv and TSU. The TSU participants are staff of the Department of Sociology of the Faculty of Philosophy and the Laboratory of Big Data Sciences and Problems of Society.
The scientists will analyze the Bulgarian segment of the Internet - social networks, blogs, and forums that discuss vaccination and homeopathy, for example, forums for young parents, medical issues, and others. They will download the body of texts and find out who is talking about these problems, how they talk, and in what situation. This will help to understand why people are against vaccination and homeopathy, and the reasons will be different for different social groups.
The result of the joint work will be an analysis of the origin, development, and degree of manifestation of the movement for homeopathy and against vaccines in Bulgaria, and recommendations on building a health policy to prevent misconceptions in these areas.