What should journalists do when powerful institutions and politicians mangle and manipulate information about climate and energy issues? One of our intrepid researchers took a look at a particularly notorious example: last year’s U.S. Chamber of Commerce analysis of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. His findings suggest some important lessons for critically examining claims around complex climate and energy policies, especially as states move forward with reducing emissions under the EPA plan. Read More
August 12th, 2015
February 19th, 2015
This post originally appeared on the American Geophysical Union’s Plainspoken Scientist blog.
One of the reasons I love working with scientists is that they tend to be very direct. Ask a question: get an answer. Sometimes the answer is a little long and makes me revisit basic physics I haven’t thought about since middle school, but I definitely get an answer.
Thankfully, most of the questions journalists, policymakers and citizens ask scientists are straightforward. But many are off-base and sometimes even badly framed. If a scientist provides a direct answer to a bad question, they can inadvertently leave audiences with an inaccurate impression of their work. While the examples below won’t happen to every researcher, they illustrate good principles for effectively dealing with such questions. Read More
James A. Shapiro Professor of Bacterial Genetics and Microbiology, University of Chicago
December 6th, 2013
December 4th brought a striking concurrence of events revealing how the opponents of science education operate.
I had just participated in a Union of Concerned Scientists webinar about “Getting Science Right in the Media: Rapid response to the good, the bad, and the provocative.” The point of the webinar was to provide information about how to combat misinformation about research. Read More
Can Journalists and Bloggers Report on Science when Access to Federal Scientists is Still a Challenge?
March 14th, 2013
You have likely heard that science journalism is in decline. No surprises there – one after another we have watched newspapers reduce the number of science beat reporters or announce the closing of their science desks altogether. We have also heard a great deal of debate over what the new on-line sources of information mean for how science is understood. Read More
January 17th, 2013