Evidence Matters

because science reporting and decision-making should be evidence-based

About Us

Mark Liberman summed up the feelings of many scientists, researchers and interested readers when he wrote:

A healthy intellectual ecosystem requires that mistakes sometimes be caught…And journalistic mistakes about science and mathematics — unlike mistakes about geography, politics and commerce — have traditionally (i.e. in pre-blog days) been free of consequences, since the people who know better could only mutter into their oatmeal.

Discussing the current state of journalism, Nick Davies identifiies the phenomenon of churnalism and the recycling of falsehoods and PR releases. Davies argues for the unremarkable truism that mainstream media is concerned with cutting costs and generating advertising revenue rather than acting as the knowledge intermediary and truth-checker that is commonly portrayed as the leading driver for journalism.

Specialist journalists are being squeezed out of too many newspapers because of funding cuts: science and health journalists are amongst those being cut. Specialist blogs can be fascinating but most of them have a very small reach when compared to mainstream media. When bloggers highlight mistakes or poor coverage of an issue, few people know about it. Evidence Matters is an independent, loose association of bloggers with a special interest in accurate science coverage and the use of appropriate evidence in decision-making. At present it is a means of contacting organisations and letting people know about stories that aren’t being covered or gross distortions of particular issues.

Evidence Matters is just beginning. We do not receive funding, directly or indirectly, from any source.

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Written by oatmealts

May 31, 2009 at 11:33 am

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