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Censorship in science journalism

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Here Nick Ishmael Perkins avoids ruffling feathers but provides some useful info.

For example, most science journalism censorship does not include threats to life, limb, or property, just making people shut up about what public or private bureaucracies don’t want them to talk about.

My own take: That means all the Voltaire stuff about not agreeing with what you say but defending to the death your right to say it is just daft. I won’t defend to the death somebody’s right to say that an approved “health” cereal exacerbates some people’s health problems. I will, however, work for the kind of society where healthcrats can’t shut him up because the government has a sweet deal with the manufacturers.


There are also the frequent requests by sources for story approval before publication when they agree to talk. Many will argue that this is barely censorship — just caution borne out of experience of inaccurate reporting of complex technical interviews by journalists. This is an understandable point, but to avoid stepping onto a slippery slope, only editors should approve stories.

The obvious solution is this: The subject is asked to approve story facts (= you got your PhD at Cambridge. The view of your paper is ….), not story opinion. Otherwise, it is a press release.

Perkins’ best point is this one:

Self-censorship is also common practice among science journalists. If you anticipate that your attempts to cover a story might result in alienation, or reprimand, from the expert sources you depend on or the media outlet that pays you, then you may have to make a judgement call about that problem relative to society’s need to know. Faced with such decisions, it is unsurprising that journalists will often choose to maintain their professional position and their livelihoods, or to avoid working with certain editors whose stance they disagree with.

In short, wear the pom poms or starve.

Readers should consider their options carefully now. Who benefits from what the journalist is allowed to write?

Suzan Mazur and David Nobel have a good insight on the problem with peer-review:
An Interview with David Noble - Peer Review as Censorship by SUZAN MAZUR - 2010 Excerpt: SUZAN MAZUR: I’ve been focusing on abuse inside the peer review system in recent articles for CounterPunch. The system seems to have spiraled out of control – to the extent that at the low end we now find virtual death squads on Internet blogs out to destroy scientists who have novel theories. They pretend to be battling creationism but their real job is to censor the free flow of ideas on behalf of the science establishment. The science establishment rewards bloody deeds like these by putting the chief assassin on the cover of The Humanist magazine, for example. But you’ve written in "Regression on the Left" that the problem IS the peer review system itself. Why do you think so? David Noble: When you say THE problem is the peer review system – the peer review system in my view is doing what it was designed to do — censor. And filter. Peer review is a system of prior censorship, prior review – prior meaning prior to publication. So the idea of abusing the peer review system sort of adds insult to injury, because the peer review system itself is injurious.,,, http://www.counterpunch.org/2010/02/26/peer-review-as-censorship/ Interview with Suzan Mazur, the author of "The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry" (Corruption of peer-review by big science) - video http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/6515194
a few more related notes:
Daniel Sarewitz: Bias is Like a Magnetic Field That Pulls Iron Filings Into Alignment - November 2012 Excerpt: to make matters worse, science’s attempts at internal controls, such as conflicts of interest disclosure, are not keeping up with the problem. Sarewitz points out that industry teams, who seek actually to implement scientific findings, are consistently unable to confirm what were thought to be “landmark” findings. As John Ioannidis has put it, “claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.” http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/11/daniel-sarewitz-bias-is-like-magnetic.html The Folly of Scientism - Austin L. Hughes - Fall 2012 Excerpt: the high confidence in funding and peer-review panels should seem misplaced to anyone who has served on these panels and witnessed the extent to which preconceived notions, personal vendettas, and the like can torpedo even the best proposals. Moreover, simplistically defining science by its institutions is complicated by the ample history of scientific institutions that have been notoriously unreliable. http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-folly-of-scientism
As well in academia, the problem of censorship, especially in regards to airing any direct criticism of Darwinism, has been getting worse, not better:
“In the last few years I have seen a saddening progression at several institutions. I have witnessed unfair treatment upon scientists that do not accept macroevolutionary arguments and for their having signed the above-referenced statement regarding the examination of Darwinism. (Dissent from Darwinism list)(I will comment no further regarding the specifics of the actions taken upon the skeptics; I love and honor my colleagues too much for that.) I never thought that science would have evolved like this. I deeply value the academy; teaching, professing and research in the university are my privileges and joys… ” Professor James M. Tour – one of the ten most cited chemists in the world https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/a-world-famous-chemist-tells-the-truth-theres-no-scientist-alive-today-who-understands-macroevolution/ Slaughter of the Dissidents - Dr. Jerry Bergman - June 2013 - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v5nAYU2GD0
At the root of this 'getting worse' problem, Casey Luskin has noted that Darwin inspired lawsuits consistently try to limit free speech:
On the Fundamental Difference Between Darwin-Inspired and Intelligent Design-Inspired Lawsuits - September 2011 Excerpt: *Darwin lobby litigation: In every Darwin-inspired case listed above, the Darwin lobby sought to shut down free speech, stopping people from talking about non-evolutionary views, and seeking to restrict freedom of intellectual inquiry. *ID movement litigation: Seeks to expand intellectual inquiry and free speech rights to talk about non-evolutionary views. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/09/on_the_fundamental_difference_050451.html "Evolution is the only 'scientific theory' that needs laws to protect it!" Author Unknown
That Darwinists would seek relief, from criticisms against their theory, in the court rather than with actual empirical evidence is understandable since the empirical evidence, without Darwinian rose-colored glasses on, is certainly not giving the Darwinists any relief
Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig: Complex systems in biology overwhelmingly point to an intelligent origin of living beings - Mar 22, 2014 Excerpt: the idea of slow evolution by “infinitesimally small inherited variations” etc. has been falsified by the findings of palaeontology (abrupt appearance of the Baupläne) as well genetics (origin of DNA and complex genetic information). Yet its adherents principally reject any scientific proof against Neo-Darwinism, so that, in fact, their theory has become a non-falsifiable world-view, to which people stick in spite of all contrary evidence. Their main reason: Without Darwinism, philosophic materialism has lost its battle against an intelligent origin of the world.“ ,,, “As I myself had to experience [that] (see book on the “Max-Planck-Affair” mentioned above). Since Darwinism is unable to answer almost all of the most important questions on the origin of species, its only option is suppression of scientifically valid criticism. What else can they do under these circumstances?“ http://dippost.com/2014/03/22/wolf-ekkehard-lonnig-complex-systems-in-biology-overwhelmingly-point-to-an-intelligent-origin-of-living-beings/

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