From James Barham at The Best Schools, “Your brain on pop science reporting:
It’s about an op-ed piece that appeared in The New York Times this past Sunday (Mar. 16). The NYT essay was called “Your Brain on Fiction,” and was written by Annie Murphy Paul, science journalist and author of Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives (Free Press, 2011).
Ms. Paul’s book appears to be informative and well written. This column is not intended as a reflection upon her personal qualities as a writer or even as a journalist, generally speaking.
However, her column on brain-scan studies of language use is an abysmal example of the utter lack of critical distance and elementary journalistic skepticism besetting science journalism in this country today. As such, it cannot help falling in the cross hairs of Human Nature Watch.*
Aw, blast away, Barham. The rest of us have to live with this garbage when it re-emerges as training for the growing army of civil servants.