Science Simplification in the Media: Are we getting the whole story?

I was intrigued by the mixture of opinions in the class after watching BBC online news clips during the presentation from Rachel Kerr. Debating about what was too simple; I found the “Extra hour’s sleep” clip to be just the right amount of science to explain the points, whilst still being a fun and interesting piece relative to everyone. However I found the “ Brain project” video to be quite confusing with little scientific explanation to the imagery they were showing.

It got me thinking about the simplicity balance of science in the media and how different news websites present scientific findings. Looking at a recent topic of diamond rain on Jupiter and Neptune, I wanted to compare the difference in scientific simplicity between different online sources.

Starting with Nature, I expected it to be very “wordy” and have a lot of scientific “mumbo jumbo”, however the article was very short, explaining the process of diamond rain very simply. The BBC meanwhile starts off simply, talking about Hollywood film stars, but continues in further paragraphs going in depth into the theories. Daily Mail does have some detail, but with words like “diamondbergs” and a tangent on a recent alien book the science gets a bit lost.

Communicating to the masses is a difficult task, but that’s why there are so many different outlets and styles, even if the science does get a little lost in translation at times.

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One Response to Science Simplification in the Media: Are we getting the whole story?

  1. vanarm says:

    I agree, I certainly think it’s something that is getting better.

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