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Study: Oddly, it’s not media but researchers who pile on hype

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From an effort to apportion blame as if all the world were a bureaucracy:

For their part, researchers at Cardiff University found that press releases from scientists’ own academic institutions about their work were a significant source of exaggerated claims and spin, even though most scientists can approve their wording. Their study of press releases from 20 leading British universities on health-related science news found that when the press releases exaggerated, it was likely the news stories would too. An analysis of 41 news articles on randomized controlled trials based on 70 press releases showed only four articles that contained exaggerated claims not included in the press release or journal abstract. Interestingly, they also found the hype and spin intended to tempt the media did not result in more news coverage. Louise Lief, “Whose Job Is It to Help Build Public Trust in Science?” at Scientific American

One senses that most of the hype tweaks are done by the public relations departments at universities. They go to school for that.

Most of the article is just establishment hand wringing. The main reason so many people don’t “trust science” is the same one that causes people not to trust used car dealers.

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See also: A study of the causes of science skepticism sails right by the most obvious cause of skepticism: Repeated untrustworthiness

and

Top Ten AI hypes of 2018

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