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DaedalusFor the past 75 years or more, scientists have been curious, and often ill-informed, about the relationship between science and the press.  Because it is the press’s job to report news, and because scientists quite naturally want to see their work reported not only accurately but favorably, researchers often confuse journalism with high-quality public information or education.  Because journalists do inform the public, it can be difficult for outsiders to see the distinction between informing and educating.  Although reporters have an obligation to accuracy and fairness, and most work hard to put the news in context, reporters are neither teachers nor public relations agents for the scientific community.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences recognized this conundrum in 1978 when it published a special issue on ‘The Limits of Scientific Inquiry,’ and invited Barbara Culliton to contribute an article on the subject of reporters and the evolving phenomenon of ‘public participation in science’.  Her article, ‘Reporters Are Not Public Relations Agents,’ is as valid now as it was then.





Freelance Links

The New England Journal of Medicine


The New Yorker

Vital Signs

APM – Association of Professors of Medicine

Albert & Mary Lasker Foundation

© Copyright 2006-2013, Barbara J. Culliton