PZ Myers says he likes the concept framing “less and less.” He wants to know why we’re beating up on scientists, when there’s so much wrong with the media and the public in terms of how they approach and use scientific information.
I just posted a long reply to his blog, and will reproduce it below the jump:
Just for the record, I think I’ve done as much as anyone to criticize bad reporting on science, going back several years:
So has my colleague Nisbet; here we are defending evolution in the face of bad reporting:
Indeed, I’ve been defending science against the ravages of politicians, reporters, etc, for some time….so, to now suggest a role for scientists in helping to address this ongoing communication/knowledge translation problem seems to me just the next logical step.
Science regularly gets misused by politicians, misrepresented by journalists, even suppressed by government agencies. This is bad, bad, bad. You, I, and others get really ticked off when it happens, and rightly so.
But at some point, I feel like we need to get beyond just outrage, and start thinking about what we can do on our end to bridge this science-society gap. It’s from that vantage point that Nisbet and I call for a rethinking of communication strategies. Let’s face it: Has the old “just the facts” model really worked? Are we really getting anywhere when it comes to broadening acceptance of evolution, for example? Or is that creationist slab of the public still unmoved, failing to budge?
In response to Endogenous Retrovirus–I’m sorry that Abbie isn’t getting invited to talk in Oklahoma, and no, I haven’t been invited to talk in Oklahoma either. But this is bigger than either of us. The scientific community as a whole has the resources to reach a broader public in a strategic way, if it wants to use them–no matter what communication challenges individual scientists or science promoters may face.
Thanks a ton for your airing of this framing debate, even if we don’t agree.