Tag Archives: Scientist

Bad Science: Ben Goldacre on scientists and the media

Ben Goldacre links to his interview for the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 – ‘talking about dumbing down science’. He joins Kathy Sykes, who has just written a piece in New Scientist on the topic, to discuss scientists and their participation in the media.

Full post at this link…

RBI staff vote against further industrial action

National Union of Journalist (NUJ) members at Reed Business Information (RBI) have voted against further industrial action following a strike ballot at the publisher.

In the Wednesday ballot, 111 voted against further action being taken in response to proposed merger of production desks at Flight International, ICIS and Contract Journal and issues of compulsory redundancies.

According to an internal memo seen by Journalism.co.uk, the NUJ chapel will meet with the company again on March 4 to discuss new offers to staff, with separate meetings to be held for members at New Scientist and Estates Gazette.

In the ballot, 64 NUJ members voted in favour of taking industrial action.

Last month the group announced 35 staff redundancies in the UK, citing ‘long-term structural needs’ and the new challenges of the economic downturn.

Parent company Reed Elsevier recently extended loan arrangements for its $2 billion debt.

In December Reed terminated the sale of magazine arm RBI, as a result of ‘the recent deterioration in macro-economic outlook and poor credit market conditions’.

Random journalising: another case of journalists misrepresenting stats

Ben Goldacre highlighted another case of statistics used badly in the Guardian on Saturday: the claim that Britain’s happiest places have been mapped by scientists, according to the BBC and many newspapers.

Erm, says Ben Goldacre, there’s a slight problem with that. He shows how sampling has yet again been misused by journalists. “This entire news story was based on nothing more than random variation,” he reports.

“This is called sampling error, and it quietly undermines almost every piece of survey data ever covered in any newspaper.”

When Goldacre talked to the scientist behind the research, Dr Dimitris Ballas, he said: “I tried to explain issues of significance to the journalists who interviewed me. Most did not want to know.”

‘Ithika’, originally flagged this up, posting in the Bad Science forum and has written about it at dougalstanton.netAPGaylard and Gimpy have also blogged about it on their sites.

How do: Newscientist.com to be revamped

The website of the New Scientist magazine will undergo a revamp after cutting a deal with development company Code to complete the makeover.

Code, which will work with in-house development team on the new site, will focus on improving usability, navigation and enhancing the site’s social media features.

The online edition of the title had its previous redesign in 2004.