Now the Boston Globe Cuts Its Science Section

I don't know how I missed this earlier in the week. But you really know science journalism is in danger when the Boston Globe, at the center of all things biotech, decides it can't have a science/medicine section any longer.

But maybe at least Larry Moran will be rejoicing. Think about it this way: Science journalists will make far less mistakes if they aren't writing!

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Fewer mistakes. Not less mistakes.

But seriously, this is truly bad news. The Star Tribune did this a couple of years ago. When the NYT does it we are doomed.

On the other hand, maybe its just that the science blogosphere has grown so effective at reporting science that we've obviated the newspapers.

If the science blogs are going to replace newspapers, that still isn't good news for those of us who would like to make a living writing about science.

The problem is that lay people on an average still get their "science" from the papers. So no matter what we think about science journalism in the MSM, we will have to strive to keep it alive in the papers for the scientific sanity of the general populace.

Paper newspapers are going to go the way of linotype machines. The Internet is the only viable answer. People and advertising are moving there so science journalists must follow or die. Cheery thought.

Without knocking science blogs, I do not see how they replace science journalism, for simple economic reasons. Blogs don't pay enough money, in general, to support careers of the type that science writers at these papers *used* to have. And yes, the daily papers reached a much broader and more diverse audience.

Re larry Moran

Mr. Mooney may be interested with some back and forth between myself and Prof. Moran.…

SLC said...

Just out of curiosity, does Prof. Moran think that Chris Mooney is a good science writer?

Larry Moran said...

SLC asks,

Just out of curiosity, does Prof. Moran think that Chris Mooney is a good science writer?

I don't know. I haven't read his "science" articles.

I have read his articles on framing. They don't inspire confidence.

SLC said...

From Prof. Morans' response, I take it that he hasn't read either of Mr. Mooneys' books.

Larry Moran said...

SLC says,

From Prof. Morans' response, I take it that he hasn't read either of Mr. Mooneys' books.

No, I haven't. Which one is about accurate science?

As writing about science disappears from the newspapers, we are left with only three venues:
- MSM video... where it is also disappearing.
- the blogosphere, as Chris pointed out,
- right wing talk radio where Limbaugh and Savage constantly remind their listeners that science is totally politicized in order to secure the next grant.

Guess which one has the biggest audience.

This is one of the reasons that I started to write a periodic column for my local newspaper. At least a few thousand more have a chance to understand what is happening unremarked all around them.