Dan Rather? Yes, at Scientific American:
The political press treats science as a niche issue. But I would argue that it is central to America’s military and economic might, that it shapes the health and welfare of our citizenry, and that our governmental support of the pure pursuit of knowledge through basic research is one of the defining symbols of American excellence. Science bolsters our global stature by its institutionalized respect for the truth, its evidence-based decision-making, and its willingness to accept differing opinions when the facts dictate them.
Wow. Like, wow.
Dan Rather perpetrated one of the biggest scandals in the history of modern American journalism when he knowingly accepted documents that were probable fakes (Rathergate), damaging his network, CBS, the careers of subordinates, and the reputation of mainstream media (apart from its fans in Hollywood). Why would anyone regard him as a dispenser of advice about how to handle evidence honestly?
But scientists need an ally in making their case, and that must come from an active and involved press. The press can build bridges between the scientific community, the public, and elected officials. It can raise awareness of important issues and put pressure on obfuscating politicians. This posture for the press has been its role throughout the history of our democracy, and it must extend to a robust coverage of science. If science fails to engage with the leadership and with the people, the press will share a large part of the responsibility. More.
Excuse me, but this is the man whose Rathergate “exploit” has been described, famously, as “fake but accurate.”
Rather should have stood up for serious journalism when it counted.
Had he stood up for journalism, instead of perpetrating Rathergate, he’d be a more credible witness now.
But what can SciAm be thinking, so brazenly fronting him like this?
It does not speak well for Scientific American that Rather is someone they would choose to speak for scientists.
Or… is a great deal of science out there “fake but accurate”? Starting to sound that way.
See also: Gloom or boom?: Prominent scientists on U.S. election It’s a symptom of internal decay in the science community, not external problems, that anyone cares what Richard Dawkins think at this point.
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Here is why mainstream media are now mainly compost: