Friday, May 28, 2010

Scientists in the News

The highly unfortunate circumstances in the Gulf of Mexico have resulted in lots of scientists being interviewed in the news.

side note - the above statement is quite an understatement and as someone who was not only born in south Louisiana but who also loves the beautiful environment and lovely people my heart goes out to everyone affected by the spill. Sometimes the price of modern technology and convenience is very high indeed.

And I just love listening to scientists being interviewed. You see, scientists are people very focused on the accurate representation of facts using appropriate words to convey a meaning. How this often plays out in the news is that you have an interviewer asking what is usually a loaded or slightly inflammatory question, then the scientist has to re-word the question before she's even willing to answer it. It totally cracks me up. A scientist just can't deal with questions that already imply an answer or misspeak the current situation. Good interviewers realize this right away and adjust but the bad ones just go on looking bad.

It's sort of sad that this happens at all as I would think journalists would also be "very focused on the accurate representation of facts using appropriate words to convey a meaning" but that just doesn't seem to be the case nowadays. *sigh*


  1. That seems, unfortunately, so true. Journalism as a whole seems to have gone down hill. Corporate acquisitions of news organizations over the years have given us a less professional Fourth Estate, and a new word. Infotainment. Neither does the citizenry any favors (but it sure does sell products).

    Sorry, I'm being too cynical (maybe it's because I was up late last night and got up early this morning). Good post, Rachel.

  2. I wouldn't call you cynical, I'd call you realistic. Corporate takeover of news outlets is one of the more depressing events of the last couple decades.