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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.


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