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Uncommon Descent contest: Contest offered for mendacity in journalism. But what about science journalism?


(No one entered this contest. – UD News)

Piggybacking off this:

Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity offered

PJ Media and The New Criterion are now accepting nominations for what our readers consider the most egregious example of dishonest reporting for the fiscal year 2011-2012 (July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012).

This prize is named after Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow correspondent in the 1920s and 1930s who whitewashed Joseph Stalin’s forced starvation of the Ukrainians (the Holodomor) and many other aspects of Soviet oppression. Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his efforts.

It has never been revoked.

Winner(s) announced publicly in New York this fall.

We’ve discussed the legacy mainstream media here (and here and here.) in the context of our own issues.

The misrepresentations in science journalism today seem mainly to consist of questionable or false assumptions made and obvious questions not asked:

Questionable assumptions: That we are getting closer to understanding the origin of life, that human culture is a long slow ascent, instead of many peaks and valleys, and that the methods of the hard sciences can be applied to the social sciences.

They’re not misleading anyone intentionally; they go on believing it themselves year after year, despite the direction of the evidence.

Obvious questions are not asked because they lead to obvious answers. For example, in the wake of no real evidence for multiverses, what if fine tuning is just a fact? How would acceptance of that fact change science thinking? (Not religion thinking, science thinking.)

That is, if cosmology gave up the pursuit of the magical reality of multiverses, and just accepted fine tuning, what would change? How often do we see analyses of a question like that, as opposed to chases after the latest and greatest multiverse buzz?

But here’s the contest: Do readers know of examples of actual fraud in science writing since 2000? Or reality avoidance so egregious that the writer – if he truly believes it – should have a trustee manage his personal affairs?

A free copy of Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science (the indispensable book where both sides put forward their best case).

Contest judged June 9, 2012.

The insuperable problem in this matter is, I think, an 'embarras de richesse' that is overwhelming. The repudiation of Intelligent Design, in any even half-sane age, would beggar belief in everyone of between an IQ range of 60 to 160. And, alas, that is just one example, as we know all too well. But I suspect we are looking here for examples of farcically fraudulent reporting, etc, on a lesser scale, by miscreant individuals.Axel
May 27, 2012
02:54 PM

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