Sunday, January 03, 2010
The primary goal of science writers and science journalists is to be effective communicators of science. However, they have had little impact on the general public over the past few decades since the level of science literacy has barely budged.
Most citizens have little idea of how science works and many reject outright the basic fundamentals of science.
Having failed to achieve their goal, and finding themselves irrelevant when it comes to making a profit (largely because of their own failure), they are now looking for someone to blame. Chris Mooney has decided to blame scientists for not being science journalists. See his latest contribution at On issues like global warming and evolution, scientists need to speak up. He doesn't really mean "speak up" as scientists, of course. What he means is that scientists should learn how to "frame" and fudge their position in order to please the general public. Making friends with theists and promoting religious scientists is supposed to help.
What's interesting about this debate is that science writers like Chris Mooney are convinced they know how to teach the general public in spite of the fact that science writers—as a profession—have not been successful in the past.
Why should scientist listen to them?