Science Journalism

Posted on April 5, 2007  Comments (1)

Don’t dumb me down by Ben Goldacre:

Science stories usually fall into three families: wacky stories, scare stories and “breakthrough” stories.

Last month there was an interesting essay in the journal PLoS Medicine, about how most brand new research findings will turn out to be false. It predictably generated a small flurry of ecstatic pieces from humanities graduates in the media, along the lines of science is made-up, self-aggrandising, hegemony-maintaining, transient fad nonsense; and this is the perfect example of the parody hypothesis that we’ll see later. Scientists know how to read a paper. That’s what they do for a living: read papers, pick them apart, pull out what’s good and bad.

Scientists never said that tenuous small new findings were important headline news – journalists did.

Interesting read, if a bit harsh, it serves to highlight real problems. There are good sources such as: Seed, National Geographic, Knight Science Journalism Tracker, PLoS, Scienceblogs -see more in our science links directory.

Related: Cancer Deaths, Declining Trend?Report on Use of Online Science ResourcesHow to Deal with False Research FindingsEat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. – – Another Paper Questions Scientific Paper Accuracy

One Response to “Science Journalism”

  1. Curious Cat Science » Value of Prostate Cancer Screening Questioned by Two Studies
    March 24th, 2009 @ 9:59 am

    everyone needs to learn about science to understand the choices they personally and politically (for policy issues) need to make decisions on. Being scientifically illiterate is dangerous…

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