Tagged: journalism

What science becomes news? - misc.ience

Aimee Whitcroft Mar 31, 2014

A question almost constantly on the minds of (well, most, I guess) science communicators is: “Is this piece of research newsworthy? Will anyone CARE about it, and read what I write on the subject?” And, as a general rule, the bigger and more important the news outlet, the more crucial that question is. Thankfully, people are looking into that very … Read More

Homeopathy and farming; let’s do better, media - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Feb 09, 2014

Today Stuff published a Fairfax NZ News article titled, Homeopathy key for dairy farming couple. Unsurprisingly this has been spread to other sites, including pro-homeopathy sites. Unlike many (most?) articles at Stuff, no means of commenting on this article are available. Let’s quickly look at key problems in this story. We might use … Read More

You need a common base to measure changes - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Oct 29, 2013

Suppose I developed some new measure of how terrible journalistic reporting on health is. And by my new measure, fully 10% of newspaper articles on Stuff demonstrate a combination of complete innumeracy and absolute credulity. Suppose I then compared it to some prior, entirely different, measure of press innumeracy which listed only 6% of articles as being really bad in … Read More

a spontaneously combustible baby? somehow i don’t think so - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Aug 26, 2013

At one point the husband had quite an interest in something known as ‘spontaneous human combustion’ (SHC) – the claim that humans can, on occasion & often with no apparent ignition agent, burst spontaneously into flame. What’s more, their bodies may sometimes be totally consumed, & yet it appears the fire doesn’t spread to the rest of the room they’re … Read More

chocolate! & just in time for easter - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Mar 27, 2013

For years the husband has insisted that chocolate is a health food. He’s also spun me the line that eating it is good for the rainforest, as the mature cacao trees apparently grow in mature forest. So he’ll be happy with the Herald‘s story on his sweet treat, which has the enticing title of “Sweet news: chocolate is good for … Read More

Hydrogen on demand – Technical "Sleight of Hand"? - Molecular Matters

Michael Edmonds Feb 28, 2013

Dacia at the Science Media Centre sent me this article regarding hydrogen-on-demand systems. Supposedly by attaching one of these systems to your car the hydrogen produced causes your car to run with greater fuel efficiency. However, I suspect that the apparent fuel efficiency is most likely due to wishful thinking as the science just doesn’t measure up. Claims … Read More

Science Communication at Yale iTunes U - Molecular Matters

Michael Edmonds Jul 06, 2012

I recently discovered that the iPad has an iTunes U application which allows access to a range of free university courses from a range of  universities and colleges. Exploring further I discovered a series of talks from Yale University on science writing and journalism, including “Science Journalism in an Irrational World” by Sharon Begley, senior health and science correspondent at … Read More

nz herald, what are you *thinking* – all kids are psychic? - BioBlog

Alison Campbell May 30, 2012

From the Herald’s website, we hear that [a]ll children are psychic and they’re tuned in to their abilities now more than ever, according to one of Australia’s top intuitives. Oh, really? And there’s more: “We’re starting to see little kids who can see spirits, who can actually validate who it is. It’s different to a child saying, ‘I’ve got … Read More