Friday, February 06, 2009

Science Press Releases

Sometimes I feel for the fellows working the Science press racket. They have to distill the complicated nature of research science into a tidbit that the mainstream media will be able to digest and regurgitate into yet another tidbit.

But sometimes I am annoyed. I feel the words "strange", "mysterious", "hidden", and "stunning" have no place in a science press release. The best ones use direct references to the science, do not declare commonly known principles or phenomena as "mysterious", and work their best to educate the reader about the science being done. They do not use poor analogies. I know a few of the writers, and sometimes problems like these develop not from them but from their employers.

This is not that. And the Register called him out on it. It is in no way the worst example of the science press release. I would be more sympathetic if the writer would take the Register's criticism to heart about that analogy.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Well, all the science writing jobs I've found require either an advanced degree in science or (usually) degree/experience in hack journalism, so I say it's their own damn fault.