Seth Mnookin has reasons to hope. It has been clear though for years that Huffpo was a clearinghouse for what I would describe as liberal crankery, which includes things like Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccine crankery, or Bill Maher’s anti-pharma paranoia.

But now they have a new site, Huffpo Science, and after my head stopped ringing from that particular oxymoron I went and checked it out.

A lead article on going to Mars by Buzz Aldrin was interesting. An article on Frankenmeat came out relatively clean without getting all paranoid about GMO foods or lab-grown nutrients being less pure than those found in nature. I even read an article about the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s move The Birds was an actual case of birds going crazy after being poisoned by a kind of algae.

The fact that they gave Seth Mnookin an opportunity to try and undo the years and years of anti-vaccine crankery on Huffpo is certainly a good sign. If anyone wants to help tamp down the already rising tide of anti-vax commenters, I would suggest you head over there to help him out.

But is this a rare hopeful sign of diminishing crankery in a world where it only seems to increase exponentially? Time will tell.

Comments

  1. #1 Orac
    January 5, 2012

    I got the same e-mail notice. My guess is that they’ll do the same thing they did with their “medical section” and try to keep it on the up and up, while allowing posts touting antivaccine nonsense, homeopathy, naturopathy, and all manner of pseudoscience to show up in their “lifestyle” and other sections.

  2. #2 MarkH
    January 5, 2012

    Probably right. The science editor they hired can certainly control the science section content. It might result in a backlash in the other sections against the science section and increased antivax nonsense.

  3. #3 pat
    January 5, 2012

    was happy to see a column from Michael Shermer on HuffPo today. looks like they are turning the corner!

  4. #4 alex
    January 6, 2012

    Great article. The changes in content at HuffPo were inevitable with the changes in management and the way in which they are now being seen a huge global cash cow for advertising.

  5. #5 wctube
    January 11, 2012

    while allowing posts touting antivaccine nonsense, homeopathy, naturopathy, and all manner of pseudoscience to show up in their “lifestyle” and other sections.