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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A call for science journalism to accurately represent facts, without a biased spin, religious or otherwise / "The God Particle" / Lots of Today's Overflow

Two days ago in this Post, I ridiculed BBC News for misrepresenting LHC's lead ion collision in a sensational headline.  Quoting myself here: 
"May I add that I'm disappointed in the sensational spin to the headline on BBC today: "Large Hadron Collider (LHC) generates a 'mini-Big Bang'"  Yes, quark gluon plasma was created, but none of the other sites covering this article have worded today's lead ion collision like this.  There are similarities to the big bang observed here, and the new information is very valuable, but we didn't just birth another universe."
I was further disappointed yesterday by the same actions taken by Gizmodo in their Coverage of the topic, with the headline: "And Man Said, 'Let There Be Light'" with citation to BBC's article.

(I entered a comment with my criticism and it was not approved by their staff; so it didn't get posted.  (waaaah) Luckily I have a soap box, and the right to stand up for an ongoing issue.  Excuse me for my prickly sensitivity today.  I'm having a ruffled feathers moment.)

Today's post is a call for science journalism to accurately represent facts, without a biased spin, religious or otherwise.

It is unnecessary and counterproductive to report a particle collision as a big bang, when temperature and quark gluon plasma is the only relation.  

A similar issue that's relevant is the ongoing effort of scientists diligently but respectfully pressuring the media to stop calling the Higgs Boson the "God Particle."  (Futurepath.org has a good Article explaining the basic controversy)  This title of the Higgs Boson is emotionally charged and mainly used in Religion VS Science debates.  Science and religion can be handled as separate issues, and can coexist just like the assertion of separation of church and state in the American constitution.  There's a difference between religious groups feeling threatened by science and sparking debate, and journalists working religion into science news.  

CERN, the LHC, and other frontiers of science provide new useful information allowing for innovation on endless fronts.  There is beauty and wonder in the new findings scientists discover daily.  The bizarre, extreme, and especially useful discoveries catch the eye of the public effectively enough.


TODAY'S OVERFLOW:

Actual chances of your (80 year long) life being disrupted by an asteroid collision on earth: 1 in 875,000 "How Afraid of Asteroids Should You Be?" Article on Starts With A Bang
Image Credit: Leonard Wikberg

Entertaining Article on Emergent-Hive "Past, Can We Changed It?" Awesomely, they link to a similar Article I posted a bit ago on the theory of a Block Universe crystallizing the present out of the entire past superimposed on top of itself. Thanks Guys! :)

Follow up on the huge cricket balls story: Article on Discover Blogs: DiscoBlog

New Horizons spacecraft wakes up briefly from a nap.  Article on Discovery News.  
2015 and we'll get our certainly exciting Pluto & Charon information.  New Horizons mission and timeline Here
Spacecraft Trajectory.  Image Credit: John Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab

Beautiful new space picture from my much beloved ESO.  "Atoms-For-Peace, A Galactic Collision in Action"
Image Credit: ESO

Fly larva "see light Article at Ars Technica
Image Credit: Dr. Chun Han

For the really advanced: A video Series of technical lectures on supersymmetry over at University of Cambridge.  Free high class education, can't beat it!

Can't help but chuckle at this: "Laptops and infertility: It matters how you sit. Keeping legs together generates more unwanted scrotum heat than machine itself."  Article on ScienceNews.org 

"Nostalgia could be linked to feeling left out" Article on PhysOrg

First Ultra-Cool brown dwarf discovered by WISEArticle on PhysOrg
Image Credit: NASA/JPL



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