11 March 2014

Neil deGrasse Tyson Lectures CNN on Science & Journalism

Posted by Dan Satterfield

From CNN's Reliable Sources

From CNN’s Reliable Sources

Quite a bit of talk about Neil deGrasse Tyson today and not just because Cosmo’s last night was brilliant, and soul inspiring. In an interview on CNN he was very critical of their coverage of science. I wrote about a similar episode a couple of weeks ago when several Sunday morning news shows put scientists up against those who think climate change is a hoax. Somehow they think this is good journalism showing both sides. It isn’t, it’s about reporting fact. Science works in a similar way, and I think we need to do a better job of educating aspiring journalists about just how science works.

Think all of those papers showing that increasing greenhouse gases are raising the planet’s temperature are wrong?? Write it up, and show where they made their errors, and submit it to a journal. That’s how science works, otherwise it’s just an unsubstantiated opinion. In science, you have to show your work, and you cannot get away with claims that have already been shown to be wrong. Until someone does this, the science stands, and while we often learn more detail, it is quite rare that it is totally overturned. A good example is the estimate of how much the planet will warm if we double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It’s actually not changed much since it was first estimated by Arrhenius a century ago!

Here is what Dr. Tyson said on CNN