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Science education and the origins issue


Two interesting papers contribute significantly to our understanding of science education debates. The first, by Joachim Allgaier, considers newspaper accounts of a UK school (Emmanuel College) that was accused of teaching creationism in science classes. The goal of the study was to find out what sources journalists used, and how the sources of education journalists compares with the sources used by science journalists. The issue is important because of the potential for media accounts of issues like this to mould public opinion and shape responses. The two types of journalists can be distinguished in a broad-brush way:

“Science journalists, for instance, visit scientific conferences, talks and presentations, read and follow scientific journals and receive ’embargoed’ press releases from scientific institutions and pre-published articles from science journals. Journalists specialising in stories about education follow the news coverage on education on various media channels, keep in touch with teachers, head teachers and other professionals from the education world, and follow the moves of teaching unions, representatives of the government and education authorities.”

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