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Monday, July 7, 2014

BBC Officially Has No Time for Science Skeptics

Posted by on Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Lindsay Abrams writes for Salon:

Good news for viewers of BBC News: You’ll no longer be subjected to the unhinged ravings of climate deniers and other members of the anti-science fringe. In a report published Thursday by the BBC Trust, the network’s journalists were criticized for devoting too much airtime (as in, any airtime) to unqualified people with “marginal views” about non-contentious issues in a misguided attempt to provide editorial balance.

It sounds like the BBC is going to be more responsible in all its science coverage, which is good news. Blogs, especially, repeatedly make hash out of scientific studies. (And no, Slog is not innocent in this.) Not every reporter needs to be a trained scientist, but we all could be a lot less histrionic and a lot more thoughtful in our coverage of scientific issues.


Comments (23) RSS

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You are misusing the term skeptic here. What you mean is science deniers, not science skeptics. Good science is skeptical. Bad science is head in the sand.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on July 7, 2014 at 12:24 PM · Report this
kitschnsync 2
Whatever happened to Slog's resident science nerd, Johnathan Golob? He was a credible voice.
Posted by kitschnsync on July 7, 2014 at 12:37 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 3
Yay, no more Lord Moncton for the Commonwealth!

Boo, we're not in the Commonwealth, so more Lord Moncton for us.

But yay, Richard Mellon Scaife is dead, so less $ for denial organizations!

But boo, they have the Koch Brothers, Fox, the WSJ, the entire AM radio band, so they should be good.
Posted by Max Solomon on July 7, 2014 at 12:40 PM · Report this
fletc3her 4
This is very good news.

So much science news comes off like starting a traffic report with a debate about whether the roads exist.
Posted by fletc3her on July 7, 2014 at 12:41 PM · Report this
@5 -- Do you have something substantive to say?
Posted by TobyinFremont on July 7, 2014 at 1:10 PM · Report this
Gurldoggie 7
Thank you @5. We'll keep "drinking the koolaid" of a massive amount of valid data gathered by scientists over decades. You can keep asking the "unpopular questions" of a lunatic fringe for whom ignorance + loud voices equal facts.
Posted by Gurldoggie on July 7, 2014 at 1:11 PM · Report this
I will miss the sounds of BBC newscasters openly mocking these uneducated, scamming assholes but this is really for the best.
Posted by Solk512 on July 7, 2014 at 1:18 PM · Report this
So is the Slog going to take any action to make their own science reporting better? New policies or practices perhaps?
Posted by Solk512 on July 7, 2014 at 1:21 PM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 10
@2, he was wonderful on science for us! LinkedIn reports for the last year he has been an "Infectious Disease Fellow" at UW.…
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on July 7, 2014 at 1:23 PM · Report this
@5: Did you mean the Flavor-Aid?…
Posted by Hanoumatoi on July 7, 2014 at 1:33 PM · Report this
What took so long? We have known that climate denialists are a fig leaf for the merchants of doubt for over a decade now.
Posted by anon1256 on July 7, 2014 at 1:45 PM · Report this

Heavy rain floods southwest ABQ
Published: July 3, 2014, 12:30 pmUpdated: July 3, 2014, 2:58 pm

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Many homeowners in southwest Albuquerque are cleaning up Thursday morning.

Heavy rain overnight caused ditches to overflow, pushing water and mud across roads and into yards.

Homeowners started battling the rising water around midnight. It pushed mud through yards and in at least one case, into the crawlspace under a home.

A spokesperson with the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District says this is a case of a lot of rain falling quickly.…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on July 7, 2014 at 1:59 PM · Report this
JonnoN 15
@14 shut the fuck up idiot
Posted by JonnoN on July 7, 2014 at 2:29 PM · Report this
venomlash 16
@13: You keep making this shit up.
A few studies in the 1970s predicted cooling iff aerosol emissions weren't curbed. The overwhelming majority of studies predicted warming trends. In the 1990s a BBC lecture erroneously said that in the 1970s cooling was the accepted opinion. This is about 5-degrees-removed bullshit on your part. Opinion discarded.
Posted by venomlash on July 7, 2014 at 3:02 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 17
About time. It is ridiculous to report every time that some people deny climate change. That mistakenly leaves the impression that opinion is split roughly 50/50 about climate change, when in fact it is more like 97/3. It is fine to occasionally report on some moonbat climate denier, just for flavor, but most of the time there is no need to add their preposterous claims to real news.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on July 7, 2014 at 4:49 PM · Report this

What the fuck I don't even.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on July 7, 2014 at 5:35 PM · Report this
Knat 21
Obligatory inclusion of John Oliver's coverage of climate change "debate". (Link)
Posted by Knat on July 7, 2014 at 6:35 PM · Report this
MajordomoPicard 23
> but we all could be a lot less histrionic and a lot more thoughtful in our coverage of scientific issues.

Including GMOs, right?
Posted by MajordomoPicard on July 7, 2014 at 8:57 PM · Report this
@23 as if there weren't a legitimate scientific case against monocrops drenched in herbicide.
Posted by anon1256 on July 7, 2014 at 11:41 PM · Report this
@13, There has never, ever been a scientific consensus, or even a majority of climate scientists, that believed in global cooling, much less an ice age.…
Even in the 70's 60% of scientific papers were predicting warming. Only 10% predicted cooling.
Are you telling me that because a handful of mainstream media companies printed articles about cooling that you're going to follow them blindly for the next 40 years despite the fact that 97% of climate scientists are now positive that we are causing worldwide climate change? Get your head out of the sand fool.…
Posted by Root on July 8, 2014 at 7:14 AM · Report this
I wonder at what point they stopped inviting guests to question whether the Earth was round or when the last person was invited to talk about how the Sun revolves around the Earth.
Posted by Root on July 8, 2014 at 7:23 AM · Report this
MajordomoPicard 27
@24 I said "GMOs," not "Monsanto." I know it's easy to conflate the two. Kinda like "weather" and "climate." The key is to listen to the scientific consensus regardless of one's world view. That can be very hard to do because we don't like having our positions and preconceptions challenged; then again, that's the whole *point* of science.
Posted by MajordomoPicard on July 8, 2014 at 8:00 AM · Report this
venomlash 29
@23: Agreed; GMO hysteria is one of the more aggravating problems with the political left in America. Plenty of people don't distinguish between "genetically-modified" and "transgenic", nor do they understand that SOME modifications are perfectly benign. Terminator genes, pesticide resistance, and insecticide production I'm against, and I do support mandatory labeling of transgenic organisms in food, but tweaking promoter sequences to make crops grow faster is nothing to sneeze at. Biotech is a powerful tool that can be used for good or evil purposes.
Posted by venomlash on July 8, 2014 at 11:14 AM · Report this

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