Science Reporting Gone Wild
In an era of sensationalized news and “alternative facts” it can be hard to figure out what to believe or not. And this is especially true when it comes to science and health news. Scientists are constantly publishing and presenting very technical research that then gets simplified by journalists who are looking to hook a general audience.There is a lot of room for error, or for major points to get hyped or lost in translation.
But crazy claims and bad science reporting dilutes the public’s understanding of science, which can have some big consequences. We need to make solid decisions--like how to vote, what to buy or what can make us sick. And these decisions can have major environmental and health implications.
We’ve combed through resources, and talked to scientists, journalists and educators to come up with our top four tips for you to use to be a critical consumer of science news. We call it G.L.A.D. :
- Get past the clickbait
- Look out for crazy claims
- Analyze sources
- Determine outside expert opinions
Get Past the Clickbait
News stories often use sensational headlines that oversimplify or exaggerate the science to get the reader’s attention. Make sure you read or watch the whole story.