Science and the media: is impact especially bad for brain science?

November 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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I’m a science writer. I signed up long ago to the principles of open science, and I do my best to let people know about the magnificent achievements of modern neuroscience. Insofar as introverts can be evangelical, I’m spreading the good news about brain research. To do this, I and many others like me need publicity. We need the media.

And yet, I have a deep and growing fear that the current excited courtship between research, especially brain research, and the media may not necessarily be the good thing people seem to think it is.

This is not just the usual anxiety about requirements for ‘impact’ in funding applications, and the distorting effects of rewarding instantly popular research (see for instance this report from NHS Behind the Headlines). It’s more fundamental, and it’s particularly relevant to the sciences of the mind and brain.

It’s also quite tricky to articulate, so please, bear with me. Here goes. Continue Reading Science and the media: is impact especially bad for brain science?…


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