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Article in the NewAScientist: Science in the media: Put up or shut up Answered

Science in the media: Put up or shut up

MOST scientists want to see more science and technology in the media, but we're making life hard for ourselves by forever criticizing each other's efforts or denouncing journalists and film-makers for not portraying science in ways we approve of. While healthy debate can improve science communication, I think we could all shut up a bit, and stop the more rabid criticism altogether. I include myself here....

If you're still troubled by how others communicate, why not spend less time ranting and get out there and communicate in ways you do like? Blogging is easier than ever, for example. Or if you prefer a more hands-on approach, in the UK or Europe you could enter NESTA FameLab's "Talking Science" competition (www.famelab.org). Alternatively, your nearest science centre, science festival or local media will welcome offers of help.

ARTICLE Link: The NewScientist

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PKM
PKM

11 years ago

I generally like the amount of science I see in the media, with the exception of overly sensationalised articles that are so exaggerated as to almost be nonsensical. The perfect example of this is the absurd debacle concerning the MMR vaccine, which dragged on for 10 years and has probably irreparably damaged the public image of a very important vaaccine because a few parents wanted it demonised.

Ben Goldacre (one of my personal heroes :D) put it best on Newswipe- about the media storm from a lot of non-scientific writers,

"People who would normally be writing articles about a funny thing the au pair said on the way to a dinner party were now giving parents advice on matters of epidemiology they were utterly unqualified to".

I don't have a quibble with how Science is portrayed in the media- some people think scientists claim to know everything but those people clearly don't understand what science is about, but otherwise I'm happy with non-sensational stuff.

Also, I entered in several science communication competitions throughout school and volunteered for CHaOS (Cambridge Hands On Science) while at university, where I got to make loud explosions with hydrogen while teaching people about alternative fuels. Everyone's a winner :)

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lemonie
lemonie

Reply 11 years ago

LHC over sensionationalised articles - people were talking about freaked-children... but it sells.

L

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 11 years ago

Most of the "normal" articles read by the general public are sadly lacking from where I stand.

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lemonie
lemonie

11 years ago

The article link is New Scientist (which I bought this week)

L

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 11 years ago

Yes. Did I do something wrong?

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lemonie
lemonie

Reply 11 years ago

You describe it as Science which is a different publication (isn't it?)

L

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 11 years ago

I see the problem....I took the exact Title as they had it, And when I linked to it, I was referencing the "subject science, and not the Mag. title....sorry about that...I will change the link to make it more clear.

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lemonie
lemonie

Reply 11 years ago

Now I feel like I've been overly-picky, as I wouldn't have said anything had you not capitalised the word. Anyway - did you read the article on trash? (I already pointed to gecko-bot I think) L

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 11 years ago

Nah, It was my fault for creating an unintentioned illusion ;-)

I hadn't seen the trash article, no, I just got wind of this article through some other link I was sent :-) I used what I thought was the cover of that issue from the site.

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lemonie
lemonie

Reply 11 years ago

It is. Trash-gasification and such - interesting. Also, leaded-gasoline staved-off global warming, McCain would have done better if there was a (real) war on, NASA in trouble (as if we didn't know that)... L