FEBRUARY 25, 2013...So, published research is likely to overrepresent the flukey 5 percent ... [statistical divergence in an experiment].... And if the flukey 5 percent are especially interesting, perhaps because of their novel and unexpected findings, then media coverage may exaggerate this overrepresentation even further. ...So, some of the time when two studies appear to be in conflict, it's because the generalizations that were drawn on the basis of one or both sets of findings were too broad, straying too far beyond the characteristics of the particular sample and the particular factors considered. Sometimes it's the "fault" of the world, for providing a statistically unrepresentative sample. Sometimes it's the fault of the scientists, for choosing a poor sample or mischaracterizing the population to which the findings apply. Sometimes it's the fault of reporters, for straying too far beyond the data. Sometimes it's the fault of the editors, who opt for the catchier — but less accurate — headline. [Editor: who, me?] And sometimes it's all of the above. And it's this combination ...[hubris-trying to make sense of EVERYTHING and modesty-trying to make sense of LIMITED observations]...that makes science such a powerful partner — one worth sticking with in sickness and in health.
(Dec. 2009) ... Individuals tend to migrate toward news sources that reinforce opinions they already hold. Given the ease with which bias can shape public perceptions about research and technology, and given the importance of contemporary debates over climate change, health, and energy, scientists need to think carefully about the way they communicate with the public.
JANUARY 29, 2015 ...According to the report, the public is much less likely to view GM foods as safe to eat than the AAAS scientists (37 percent to 88 percent), even though 67 percent of the nonscientists surveyed acknowledged that they lacked a "clear understanding" of the health effects of GM crops.... Just over half of the scientists surveyed say media oversimplification of scientific findings is a problem; nearly the same number say "the public expects solutions too quickly."
MAY 19, 2014 ... Scientists face pressure to publish new discoveries, which in turn might influence what they study, and that, of course, is not necessarily a good thing. Scientists are rewarded for publication over accuracy. There isn't a culture of replication across most disciplines. We're [scientists are].... not rewarded for redoing what someone else does. The main reward is for doing something novel. ...So [as an antidote] in this current issue of the journal Social Psychology, Nosek turns this model on its head. Every article that's in the journal is focused on replicating an earlier study. And as a second innovation, all the replications were accepted for publication before they were conducted, so the peer reviewers only looked at the methodology of the study and if the science were solid, the study was guaranteed publication.