Friday, March 9, 2012

Ananyo Bhattacharya is Calling for Science Journalists to Ask Questions and Deflate Exaggeration

The chief online editor of Nature—One of the leading evolution cheerleader periodicals in the world—is unbelievably calling for science journalists to work harder at “contextualising, investigating and, at times, challenging science.” Ananyo Bhattacharya adds that “journalists must try to stay at arm’s length from their sources” and should ask questions and deflate exaggeration.

Except, that is, when it matters.

If a scientist makes a lazy or exaggerated claim about, say, the terrible impact of crystal imperfections on manufacturing tolerances, then the journalist needs to home in and check the facts. Stay at arms length, seek third party opinions, and do not run the story past the source prior to publication. That’s just the stuff of good solid investigative journalism.

But if an evolutionist pronounces, with all the pomp and authority of the high priest, that biological intricacy X evolved spontaneously (in spite of massive scientific contradictions), then like Charlie Rose the journalist is to fawn and express deep, heartfelt amazement at the oracle of truth to which he has been granted a few precious moments of access.


  1. Ananyo Bhattacharya would be better advised to ask so-called science journalists in the popular press to stop 'massaging' stories in the interests of a more eye-catching headline That's where the exaggeration comes from, more often than not.

    How often do we see breathless newspaper headlines about a "cancer breakthrough" or some such which turns out to be nothing of the sort. The researchers are perhaps reporting that a particular therapy has had promising results in mice that may, if it is also seen in humans, lead to improved treatment 10 years down the road. It's the journalists distorting the claim not the scientists.

  2. Is the oeuvre of Denyse O'Leary an example of good and solid investigative journalism? You put her blog on your link list. Let us know your standards.

  3. Has anyone asked how Ananyo got his job !
    I note there is never names I can pronounce in the higher things of north america!
    I say diversity hiring is alive and well and possibly the origin for much incompetence .
    This is a accusation based on long time educated observation and analysis.

    1. I'm sure whatever your racism is based on is the same thing your creationism is based on.