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Is Science Over?

A funny thing happened on the way to Science Newsiness

The lamestream media told you:

Nothing, but do notice:
I’ve been reading Science News, a formerly fine science magazine, since childhood.

It has become a nouveau tabloid with “we thought we were right but now we really know” dominating stories that used to report on the world of scientific discovery and advancement. Editorship was just assumed by a former PBS employee. What affect might that have, I wonder, none?

The cover used to say The Weekly Newsmagazine of Science, it is now Society for Science & the Public, with other changes to its description. The material is getting so vapid it's becoming hard to endure. Some employed scientists actually tested whether you can blow on dropped food to see if the 5-second rule is real, and this got reported.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

Can you spot any patterns in the stories appearing in the current issue of Science News, by Nancy, Lisa, Carolyn, Aimee, Tina, Susan, Aimee, Laurel, Carolyn, Carolyn, Emily, Laurel, Maria, Maria, Emily, Laura, Laurel, Carolyn, Ashley, Carolyn... Dan and Bruce.

Some topics: Bogs on the Brink (carbon stores); Discussing what matters when facts are not enough (new editor’s comment); Fresh water maxed out on phosphorous; Lent story debunked; Penguins can track Antarctic changes; Hunting threatens orangutans; Too much sugar; Consumer goods pollute urban air; Americans might welcome space aliens; New mother depression gets attention... just the first half. OK, there were stories about the cosmos, anti-matter, biology, a little more, but puhleeeze.

The new editor’s opening editorial is almost a screed against questioning established scientific consensus. “When people challenge the scientific consensus on issues (she names three) it’s no surprise that one of the first inclinations of journalists and scientists has been to think, hey, these doubters just don’t know the facts.” Give them more data and they’ll get it she explains.

“But there’s considerable evidence that more data isn’t better when it comes to science skeptics,” editor Nancy Shute says. She denigrates the effort of skeptics to build a case using facts. The bubble-centric ivory-tower hubris is stunning.

I plan to keep my subscription for a while, but it looks like I may need a different source. I gave up Scientific American, when it became a politicized editorial, and featured digitally manipulated images of a person’s face on its cover, to argue that race doesn’t exist.

When science cannot brook skepticism, in a magazine continuously reporting it was wrong about prior “science,” the nation, not just science, is in danger of extinction.

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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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