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October 27, 2005

It Ain't Necessarily So (Prologue, Intro & Ch. 1)

"Scientific research may at first glance sound specialized or even forbidding as a topic, but in fact it is research results--of a remarkable variety, from health news to environmental alarms to the latest findings on child-rearing practices--that increasingly construct the public agenda."

This is true, but when that scientific data is misinterpreted by the media, and is blown out of proportion?

"If raw data only become meaningful information that is usable when they are processed and organized, categorized and compared, then we need new management resources for understanding the news."

I think this is absolutely true. Often news sources publish statistics and "new finds" without contextualizing that new information. When scientists perform a study, they include all of the variables and conditions in their final report. News, because of it's nature, doesn't have the time or space to acknowledge such background information. The result is a misinformed "news-consumer."

Then the question arises- To what extent should news cover science? Should the scientists have their own PR magazine?

Posted by DavidDenninger at October 27, 2005 10:52 AM

Comments

You have an interesting idea there. I think to a certain extend scientists do have their own PR, but it is in the form of academic journals...and, unfortunately even fewer people read those than newspapers. So, maybe we should just try to read about science (particularly hard science) in the journals...or other periodicals specifically dedicated to science and be more wary of what we read in newspapers because even if the journalists are as accurate as possible, they are still misinformed about what is real.

Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at November 8, 2005 12:57 PM

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