[EAS] Bad Science Reporting

Peter J. Kindlmann pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Mon Sep 12 17:50:09 EDT 2005

My friend and colleague Nathan Price has sent me so many good pointers
that he ought to be co-editor of these mailings. His last is an
excellent piece from The Guardian (UK) that disects the generally
deplorable state of science reporting.


Some favorite quotes:

"It is my hypothesis that in their choice of stories, and the way they
cover them, the media create a parody of science, for their own means.
They then attack this parody as if they were critiquing science. This
week we take the gloves off and do some serious typing."

" ... science journalists somehow don't understand the difference
between the evidence and the hypothesis."

"So how do the media work around their inability to deliver scientific
evidence? They use authority figures, the very antithesis of what
science is about, as if they were priests, or politicians, or parent
figures. ...  The danger of authority figure coverage, in the absence
of real evidence, is that it leaves the field wide open for
questionable authority figures to waltz in."

A short and _very_ good article.  --PJK

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