View Full Version : Great Article on how the Press is screwing over science.
11th November 2004, 09:02 AM
The synopsis from slashdot:
The scientist's job is to discover truth about the natural world, and the journalist's is to report the world's events accurately. Why are these two professions so often at odds? Chris Mooney discusses how journalism fails science in this month's Columbia Journalism Review. If you applauded Jon Stewart's plea to "stop hurting America," Mooney's analysis will strike a chord; the he-said-she-said approach to truth fails in all kinds of venues.
11th November 2004, 09:26 AM
Good article if you ignore the ineptitude about Galileo and Einstein in the last paragraph - talk about losing your nerve at the last moment.
Slashdot is one of the worst offenders when it comes to bad science news, though, if not necessarily for politically-loaded science.
11th November 2004, 11:25 AM
There's still a good number of dissenting opinions on global warming here on this very forum.
11th November 2004, 11:39 AM
I think the article's point about the general problem of science vs. journalism stands regardless of one's opinion on the particular issue of global warming, though.
One could generalize beyond science to critical thinking in the press in general, actually.
12th November 2004, 01:00 AM
One of the other problems is that since virtually all media in the US is controlled by five or six companies, many employees feel enormous pressure to please their bosses, as they want to advance in their careers. One false step and its blackball time. This is also why the media portrayed the Swift Boat Vets for Truth, alternative medicine, and any other form of fraud as though it were true. And you know what? It works and sells.
/kill your TV
12th November 2004, 01:20 AM
The problem is that journalists are usually completely ignorant when it comes to the scientific topic they want to talk about. Even if they have the best of intentions (which they don't), it is impossible to speak accurately about something they barely understand. Even for specialized scientists, it is sometimes very difficult to speak in layman's terms about something they know very well.
Journalists are waaaaay outdated. It's about time that media start asking about some qualifications instead of letting every idiot write and talk about anything. It is also time that we get completely rid of journalists for special subjects like medicine or computers. Media can pay specialists in order to write for their field of expertise. This is already being done to some extent, but we need more.
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