December 07, 2013

Hunting clichés

InvasionAvi and me write in the Conversation about The seven deadly sins of health and science reporting.

Not sure "deadly sin" is the right term here, the headline is not mine. Somehow I doubt journalists who die after writing an article about the "gene for X" without apologizing to the spirits of accuracy, honesty and fairness, will end up in hell (as a paid spokesperson for some nasty industry?) But they are clichés that make us slightly more stupid.

The problem is that we want to know actionable, surprising things - that is news. But science is mostly generating non-actionable confusing results. So we get the rare breakthrough mixed in with the everyday noise of misreported, misunderstood or hyped (by researcher, university or journalist) research. This promotes bias.

Posted by Anders3 at December 7, 2013 05:45 PM