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The Science Reporter: Who is ultimately responsible for reporting significant findings to the public?

Are science reporters like other reporters? Reporters are suppose to be objective and independently investigate stories that are of public interest. They are generally proactive and go after the story rather than having the story come to them. They are also knowledgable enough to present the dynamics and content of a story to the public. Who is ultimately responsible for reporting significant scientific findings to the public when science reporters are unable to act as other reporters?

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  • Feb 5 2013: When an institution issues a press release or any other report, that institution is communicating that representation or misrepresentation. This is also internal reporting which can hardly be considered objective and independent. That is why I am pointing to the role of The Science Reporter as a reporter. Scientific fraud is rarely reported by the institutions who are committing the fraud.
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      Feb 5 2013: As Barry writes, peer review is an important check on scientific information, as is the standard that results need to be able to be replicated in order to be credible.

      We have had threads here before that reveal that the amount of scientific fraud is miniscule, with most cases typically coming from a single, or a couple of labs, with repeat offenders.

      Work that has not been through the peer review process, where peers are actual scientists in the field at hand, should not be considered credible until it has gone through such review.

      Part of the confusion arises in this area because there are people who would want to be considered scientists who make wild claims that then make the lay public doubt the reliability of any scientific information, regardless of its source.

      When someone who is not trained and working as a scientist makes a confident claim about what research says in a branch of science, it is best to take it with a large grain of salt, even if it is a reported in the popular press.

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