Sunday, May 24, 2009

Science-less in Seattle

Here's another sad tale about the decline of science journalism, along with the rest of investigative journalism in general. This one's from Chris Mooney, about fellow science journalist Tom Paulson:

Science-less in Seattle
Over time, however, Paulson noticed a change at the Post Intelligencer. His editors, he says, grew less interested in stories that were “too complicated or in depth.” Paulson wanted to really dig into covering the Seattle-based Gates Foundation and its work on global health, but he was instead pushed into writing what he labels “entertainment science” stories. The science of chocolate. Back-in-time research. That kind of thing.

And here's the punchline, at the end of the article:
In a science-centered age, we’re becoming a society that lacks a professional and impartial means of informing its citizenry about science—and it’s happening one journalist at a time.

Read some of the comments to the article also, such as:
So, the disenfranchisement of science is news to Center for American Progress? Certainly it isn’t to ex-science writers and editors, myself included. As a culture, we’ve gone back centuries already, with astrology columns a factor in newspaper sales and breathless, one-paragraph sound bites illustrated with file footage substituting for real journalism in broadcast news.

As I have hinted before, and I'll surely amplify as time goes on, I see the possibility of new channels for communicating about science to the public. That's part of what the Science and Reason Network is about. If this topic interests you (and why would you be reading this post if not?), please look into the network.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


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Warm Regards Team

5/25/2009 02:49:00 AM  
Blogger google_admin said...

Yes, a sad commentary indeed. I think the problem goes back to basic science education. For my grandchildren I'm answering their science questions via email (and posting them on my website at science achives ). Susprisingly I find more adults interested in my answers. I guess basic science and math education is deficient these days.

6/19/2009 03:23:00 PM  

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