One of the problems journalists have with scientists is that scientists are very bad at providing good illustrative quotes for the story the journalist’s employer wants to sell. One of the problems scientists have with journalists is that instead of reporting accurately on the exciting results of years of research, journalists want to tell a human interest story.
If you listen to the very end of the webcast from CERN the morning they announced they had found a Higgs boson, you hear journalists who need a nice short quote to illustrate their story, questioning scientists who are happily conscious that, just for once, they don’t have to cooperate: they’re not dependent on the journalists reporting this piece of research to get publicity.
This morning, the Guardian reported on research from Finland suggesting that:
Multiple abortions ‘increase chance of premature or underweight births‘
Finnish research suggests slightly increased risk of problems for women who have had three or more terminations
You know, of course, the kind of use the prolife movement will make of this sort of reportage. They are still trying to claim a link between breast cancer and abortion despite years of research showing there isn’t one. SPUC has an entire presentation for schools consisting of pseudo-scientific lies about how abortion is bad for your health. Continue reading