On the Media: The Appliance of Science

Talk Wednesday 13th January, 2010

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The leaking of the notorious ‘Climategate’ emails just before the Copenhagen global warming summit, the resignation of Professor David Nutt as chairman of the government’s drugs advisory panel: two events that demonstrate how politicised science has become.
With so much confusion about such important and complex issues as the environment, Swine flu, and vaccinations can journalists be looked to to provide objective analysis? Are science and environment journalists equipped to set out the parameters of the debate on global warming and other important issues to allow the public to make up their own minds?
Or are they contributing to the distortion of debate, playing into the hands of the powerful lobbies and misrepresenting complex evidence for the sake of a good headline?
What impact are English libel laws having on critical discussion of medical practice and scientific evidence as the courts are used more and more to silence critics?
With: Michael Hanlon, science editor for the Daily Mail; Mike Hulme, Professor of Climate Change in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia; Beth Taylor, director of communications, Institute of Physics

Photo by Danielle Delaney through a Creative Commons license