Perils of Click-Bait Science Communication, or There’s Many a Slip ‘twixt the Cup and the Lip

Metathesis

Science communication plays an integral role in bridging the gap between academia and the public. Science writers have the tricky job of distilling complex ideas into digestible pieces, and explaining highly-specialized experiments in a way the public might find interesting. Research highlighted in the media can become part of a larger cultural conversation and have a more direct impact on people’s lives. However, in this process, a research article undergoes multiple reinterpretations, and can become detached from the original material. As a result of this process, science for public consumption tends to overemphasize human relevance, lose qualifiers or context, and frequently employs ‘click-bait’ methods of choosing catchy titles that distort the results and implications of the research.

A particularly painful example of the pitfalls of a catchy title happened in the highlight of an article on primate sexual behavior. In December 2014, a group of researchers published a study on…

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Whewell's Ghost

History and Philosophy of Science

Diversity Journal Club

The premise of this journal club is to discuss articles and blog posts about Diversity in STEM and academia. We post the paper/topic the 2nd week of the month, and discuss the third Friday of every month at 2pm EST, under #DiversityJC on Twitter. Hope to see you there!

Molecular Love (and other facts of life)

the nitty gritty science of sex and reproduction

Brain Pickings

An inventory of the meaningful life.

Explorations Scientific

"whoa" inducing science

Gap Junction Science

Storage of ideas on science and etc.

Sociobiology

So you want to be a biology professor

Dynamic Ecology

Multa novit vulpes

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