Science News Cycle | phd comics
Science News Cycle | phd comics

What Works

This could easily be applied to just about all research, not just bench science.

What needs work

Why is it that the media believe their consumers to be so daft? Where did the sound bite come from and what has it done to the production of news? To the practice of scientific research?

What is missing from this depiction of the research ‘cycle’ is that some researchers interpret the pressure to turn complex reality into a series of sensational sound bites as a sign that they should alter the way that they write up results in order to better fit the media’s model of dissemination. It’s hard to say this is always a bad thing – if it means that scientists actively seek a more active role in the dissemination of their work in order to pursue a real discourse, it can be a good thing. If it means that researchers promote their results in a skewed fashion, fail to fully disclose/discuss the conditions in which their findings will hold, or start choosing projects based on what will be more likely to make the news, then this science news cycle can be sincerely detrimental.