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Does the media makes a 'positive contribution' to the public's perception of science?

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    Do you think the media makes a positive or negative contribution to the public's perception of science?

    Using examples?
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    Scare stories about medicines are a definite negative. Example is the MMR vaccine, one doctor played upon fears of parents using the media as a platform. His ideas didn't pass the requirements of a peer reviewed journal, so basically he had no data to support his claim, and he was banned from practicing as a doctor due to his actions.
    This lead to many people not getting the vaccines they needed, causing a minor return of measles, and having a detrimental impact upon how people perceive vaccines. For example, the scare over the swine flu virus, despite no evidence that it was dangerous.
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    how could the media improve the way the public perceives science and scientific facts?
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    (Original post by JMaydom)
    Scare stories about medicines are a definite negative. Example is the MMR vaccine, one doctor played upon fears of parents using the media as a platform. His ideas didn't pass the requirements of a peer reviewed journal, so basically he had no data to support his claim, and he was banned from practicing as a doctor due to his actions.
    This lead to many people not getting the vaccines they needed, causing a minor return of measles, and having a detrimental impact upon how people perceive vaccines. For example, the scare over the swine flu virus, despite no evidence that it was dangerous.
    Andrew Wakefield :rolleyes:

    We actually discussed him / his case during some Critical Thinking lessons, when talking about the credibility of an information source :rofl:

    (Original post by suicidaleffect)
    how could the media improve the way the public perceives science and scientific facts?
    Well, I suppose the BBC tends to show quite a lot of decent documentaries on astronomy (although Brian Cox ) and recently they've started showing a lot of stuff on nature, e.g. BBC's Frozen Planet (which was amazing by the way!)

    So, you could say that the media are (albeit sluggishly) moving towards creating a positive perception of science in general in the minds of readers/listeners/viewers
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    It can definitely be positive or negative, depends on the media concerned and the topic, but for the negative impacts medicine wise, the daily fail mail has got to be an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZTeSxWdk1g

    But yeah the mmr is a more serious one, saw 3 measles patients on my hospital rotations in one day last week!
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    (Original post by halfadoc)
    It can definitely be positive or negative, depends on the media concerned and the topic, but for the negative impacts medicine wise, the daily fail mail has got to be an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZTeSxWdk1g

    But yeah the mmr is a more serious one, saw 3 measles patients on my hospital rotations in one day last week!
    "60 pages of scary bull****" :rofl:

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Updated: June 8, 2012
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