How Can You Make Science News Better? Ask a Historian or Sociologist of Science.

Drexel News Blog

Photo by Rachid H, used under Creative Commons licensePhoto by Rachid H, used under Creative Commons license

Red wine is bad for you again. Pesticides are killing the bees. Wait a few days, and the bees are doing better than we thought.

If you weren’t paying attention to the news a few weeks back, you might have missed all that. If you were paying attention, you’re probably confused.

The nuanced reality of scientific and medical research is almost always a little more complicated than the attention-grabbing headlines claim. Even experienced health and science journalists struggle with how to balance reporting the news of the day with the broader context of what scientists really know so far.

Journalists are working in the public interest, but health stories conveying messages that cause confusion and unjustified fears aren’t doing anyone much good. Nor is the overall impression left by the ebb and flow of conflicting reports – that science is…

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