For Immediate Release: Oct. 14, 2010
Contact: Paul Karoff, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-576-5043
“Science and the Media” Explores Challenges to Scientific Literacy in U.S.
Essays Published by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Scientists and the journalists who cover their research approach their roles from very different perspectives, yet they depend on each other to do their jobs. [more]
Jay Rosen is the person best at making sense of modern journalism, especially in America.
He doesn’t usually think of science journalism in particular, but his comments are often strikingly on target for our interests as well.
There’s an excellent interview with Rosen in The Economist
Some of it reflects on the quandary that someone like Revkin faces:
I do not think journalists should “join the team”. [more]
Tim Lambert asserts that the high profile article in the London Times claiming that former IPCC chairman, Prof. Robert Watson, says that IPCC has a warming bias, is flagrant and willful distortion:
Yes there is bias here, but the bias is in the media that only reports the errors that overstate the problem and also reports as errors things that are not errors at all. [more]
On a recent article here, Keith (I am guessing Keith Kloor) laments:
I’m not defending my professional pride. I know well that journalism has its shortcomings. (See Iraq war for for obvious and tragic example.)
I just happen to believe that your expectations of journalists are unreasonable. You seem to think it falls on journalism’s collective shoulders to rescue humanity from imminent climate catastrophe. [more]
Apparently, Tom Yulsman has been on the “climate beat” for quite some time.
Anyway, he has a collection of interesting observations about communicating climate science from various participants. Unfortunately, no compelling position emerges from it. Sometimes I suspect that it is exactly the purpose of conventional journalism, to avoid influencing the reader’s position at all. [more]
This is something of a rant about science journalism and my place in it.
The core of the matter is this.
In our peculiar circumstances, science writing has an ethical component.
Although speech is free in a free country, individuals or corporations aren’t free of ethical responsibility for what they write. [more]
Regular readers will understand the nature of the problem here.
For details, go to the Media Matters site.
The mantle of lovable old coot of liberal persuasion who thinks global warming is hooey has been passed to a new old generation.
I tried to avoid saying anything nasty about Reid Bryson while he was around. Reid was, no doubt about it, a very nice man. He was also the founder of the department that gave me my doctorate, at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. [more]
The prolific (and arguably indispensable) Joe Romm has a terrifying summary about global warming which appears to me to be pretty much on the mark.
Joe believes that people who understand the situation in this way should stick together. Given the scope of the problem, and the vast difference between the perspectives of those few who understand it and those many who don’t, you’d think we ought to stick together through thick and thin. [more]
I am deeper into considering what it is I do here and why, and whether it is a sensible life’s pursuit. As I make more connections among others doing similar things, I have come to the conclusion that there are very fundamental sociological and cultural differences that underly our wretched incapacity to make good collective decisions. [more]
Using SXSWi as an occasion to ponder the future of journalism has been fruitful so far.
Larry Lessig did not disappoint. He really had two themes. He said that the first problem is separating congressional job retention form money. “That’s bnot the only problem. That’s not the most important problem. But is is the first problem.”
The odd thing is that while he made a compelling case for solutions to that problem being logically precedent (in the USA, what about elsewhere?) to all the other ones, it seems to me he ALSO made a case for a different logically precedent problem. [more]
(Picture: guy in a pink gorilla suit selling some silly thing or other at SXSW;
guy on cellphone at left probably has a more consequential job)
Why am I at SXSWi?
“SXSWi?” regular readers will surely ask. If I tell them it’s locally pronounced “Sowfba enneractive” the confusion may well mount. [more]
If there is a sidewalk on either side of a busy street, you may argue whether to walk down the east side or the west side, but it’s not a useful compromise to walk out in traffic.
There is more than one question we need to solve, so there are lots of ways of looking at the world. [more]
Much, much, much more… All tolled, (and not yet all told) this is the first major league blogstorm emerging from the non-denialist climo-blogosphere and is thus a historical event regardless of your position on it.
If there’s one thing you should understand about this event it is this one: Jonathan Schwarz tells an old Noam Chomsky story about George Will in an article entitled “So Much Nicer To Be George Will Before The Internet”. [more]
I feel a death-of-journalism topic coming on. Here’s a teaser.
I’ve been following @jayrosen_nyu on Twitter. He’s an excellent source of post-web meta-journalism stories. Including this one by Steve Rhodes mentioning among many other things my pet peeve about how the NYTimes uses link tags:
I was reading a trade industry publication last week informing those of our profession that you don’t have to use the old AP inverted pyramid style when writing your stories. [more]
The New York Times reports on a genial, diligent MD who is afraid to go on a book tour:
“I’ll speak at a conference, say, to nurses,” he said. “But I wouldn’t go into a bookstore and sign books. It can get nasty. There are parents who really believe that vaccines hurt their children, and to them, I’m incredibly evil. [more]
Andy Revkin is taking bait set by Ron Rosenbaum in a ludicrous article on Slate.
Here is my response.
Well, I’ve been advocating you cover dissent too, but from a sociological perspective. You should report on Naomi Oreskes’ work uncovering the roots of the pseudoscientific footdragging that bypasses the scientific community entirely and goes directly to the press. [more]
The Climate Spin blog has been interesting of late.
In a recent article, Rob Jacob points to recent improvements in science journalism exemplified by Newsweek reporter Sharon Begley.
While it’s starting to dawn on American journalists how they have been played like a fiddle for the past couple of decades, (something many of us have found painfully obvious all the while) it still seems that they miss important stories. [more]