「科学者はジャーナリズムをわかっていない」on The Guardian

ジャーナリストによる科学報道に対する代表的な批判に対して、Ananyo Bhattacharyaが「科学者の言うとおりにしたら、ほとんど誰も記事を読まなくなるのだ」と対抗する記事を書いた
The standard structure of news stories doesn't work for science

There's been some shrewd criticism of the "inverted pyramid" model of writing news but there's a reason we stick to it doggedly. It works. Some readers come to news sites wanting a quick hit. Others want to know more about each story. The 'inverted pyramid' – essentially presenting the new results at the top then filling in the background – can satisfy both camps if it is done well. Those who suggest otherwise should look at their blogposts and work out how far down the page most of their readers get. They may be surprised.


The internet doesn't have word limits. Why do you?

"On the web, real estate is endless and cheap" so why on earth do the press keep producing 300-700 word news stories and paring down scientists' quotes to a sentence or just a few choice words? There are two main reasons. The first is respect for the readership. Editors want readers to return to their site and read their content. We don't want to bore them. Every sentence in a story, every word, is weighed and if it is found wanting, it is cut. The second reason is resources. A news story needs to be commissioned, written, edited and subbed. This takes time. If you double the length of every news story you publish, you effectively halve the number of stories you can cover – or worse, you halve the amount of time spent getting the story right in the first place.


Your headline is hyperbolic

The purpose of a headline is not to tell the story. That's the purpose of the story. The purpose of the headline is to pique the interest of readers without lying. So the next time a multi-squillion pound experiment reports evidence of neutrinos going faster than the speed of light, don't expect the headlines to say "Astonishing but esoteric particle physics finding likely to be flawed though no one can see how yet".


Change my colourful quote at once!

No. Quotes serve many functions in a news story but one important reason they're there is to inject some humanity into the piece. Most scientists are human and, thankfully, don't speak in the arid tone that characterises an academic paper. They get excited and say things like "If we do not have causality, we are buggered" and "I don't like to sound hyperbolic, but I think the word 'seismic' is likely to apply to this paper". That's nothing to be ashamed of. It is no secret that reporters go fishing for a good quote. That's nothing to be ashamed of either.


Why did you emphasise the 'tabloid' implications of my work?

There's a fundamental misapprehension among many in the scientific community that the principal job of science journalists is to communicate the results of their work to the general public. It's not. A journalist might emphasise one part of the research and ignore other parts altogether in an effort to contextualise the story for their readers. That does not, of course, justify spinning the story out of all recognition so that it fundamentally misrepresents the work.


The story didn't contain this or that 'essential' caveat

Was the caveat really essential to someone's understanding of the story? Are you sure? In my experience, it's rare that it is. Research papers contain all the caveats that are essential for a complete understanding of the science. They are also seldom read. Even by scientists.


You can't cover my work. I forbid it

A scientist presents their work at a conference or deposits it in a pre-print archive but then insists that reporters should not cover it. The edict is often issued as a result of fears that coverage of the work would jeopardise subsequent publication: some journals (including Nature) have a strict embargo policy that forbids reporting of a piece of research before a specified time. Embargoes do pose a problem for journalists interested in producing timely coverage of science – even though on closer inspection the fears often prove to be unfounded.

But it's worth stating that while no one can force a scientist to talk to a reporter about their work, no one can force a journalist not to report something that is in the public domain – even if they are reporting your work and you have refused to speak to them.



How could you quote that person who disagrees with me? He's wrong!

I hate the straw-manning engendered by the "he says, she says" mode of journalism. But the findings of science are often hotly contested and often wrong. In many cases, journalists uncover flaws in the research while calling independent sources to pull their story together. At Nature, a significant number of news stories are dropped after enquiries because they turn out to be weaker than the abstract or the press release suggested. For the stories that get through, the journalistic process may expose more problems or disagreements that were not caught when the paper was peer-reviewed. If the criticisms seem valid and are not easily rebutted, then journalists have a duty to represent them.


The story contained an error or errors

It is worth remembering that while a paper represents months or years of work to the scientist concerned, the reporter or editor responsible is likely to have dealt with a dozen or more similar gems in the same week. One scientist's heinous press bungle looks like a difference of opinion to another. Nonetheless, if there's a genuine factual error in a news story it should be corrected and a note posted with it to acknowledge the error. Journalism is fast-paced and even with the best fact-checking practices, there's room for errors to creep in. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time …


[Ananyo Bhattacharya: "Nine ways scientists demonstrate they don't understand journalism" (2012/01/17) on The Guardian]


posted by Kumicit at 2012/01/19 04:32 | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | Skeptic | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする



キミの研究結論: 条件EのもとでDを仮定すると所与のCのとき、AとBは相関している(相関係数=0.56)。

[The Science News Cycle (2009/05/18) on PHD comics]

これについてLindsay Pattersonは次の例を挙げている(via Sheril_)。論文では...
[A. Ross Otto and Bradley C. Love: "You don’t want to know what you’re missing: When information about forgone rewards impedes dynamic decision making", Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 5, no. 1 February 2010, pp. 1-10]

When people learn to make decisions from experience, a reasonable intuition is that additional relevant information should improve their performance. In contrast, we find that additional information about foregone rewards (i.e., what could have gained at each point by making a different choice) severely hinders participants’ ability to repeatedly make choices that maximize long-term gains. We conclude that foregone reward information accentuates the local superiority of short-term options (e.g., consumption) and consequently biases choice away from productive long-term options (e.g., exercise). These conclusions are consistent with a standard reinforcement-learning mechanism that processes information about experienced and forgone rewards. ....


Armed With Information, People Make Poor Choices, Study Finds

AUSTIN, Texas − When faced with a choice that could yield either short-term satisfaction or longer-term benefits, people with complete information about the options generally go for the quick reward, according to new research from University of Texas at Austin psychologists. ....

"You'd think that with more information about your options, a person would make a better decision. Our study suggests the opposite," says Associate Professor Bradley Love, who conducted the research with graduate student Ross Otto. ....

短期的満足と長期的利得の選択に直面した時、選択肢について完全な情報を持っていると、人々は短期的報奨を選択すると、University of Texas at Austinの心理学者が明らかにした。

「選択肢について情報が多くあれば、人はより良い選択をすると思うかもしれない。我々の研究はそうではないことを示した」と、大学院生Ross Ottoとともに研究を行ったBradley Love準教授は言う。

[University of Texas: News (2010/03/31)]
I think the finding has been largely misunderstood as “getting more information causes people to make poor decisions”, thanks to the press release. ....


It’s no surprise that the public interpreted the research that way. The headline was “Armed with information, People Make Poor Decisions, Study Finds.” Lesson #1: Most people don’t read beyond the headline.


[Lindsay Patterson (2011/06/03)]

posted by Kumicit at 2011/06/05 07:57 | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | Skeptic | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする



2011年5月21日にラプチャーが起きると予言したHarold CampingのFamilyRadioは、来週も仕事をするようだ。
But not even all of his own employees are convinced that the world is ending on Saturday. In fact, many still plan on showing up at work on Monday.

"I don't believe in any of this stuff that's going on, and I plan on being here next week," a receptionist at their Oakland headquarters told CNNMoney.

A program producer in Illinois told us, "We're going to continue doing what we're doing."

Harold Campingの従業員も世界が土曜日(5/21)に終わるとは納得していない。事実、多くが月曜日も仕事を予定している。「これらのものを私は全然指示てない。来週もここに来ます」とOakland本社受け付けはCNNMoneyに語った。イリノイ州の番組製作者は「我々は今と同じく仕事を続ける」と我々に語った。

[Annalyn Censky: "May 21 End of the World: Harold Camping's $72M business" (2011/05/19) on CNN Money]
According to their most recent IRS filings, Family Radio is almost entirely funded by donations, and brought in $18 million in contributions in 2009 alone.

According to those financial documents, accountants put the total worth of Family Radio (referred to as Family Stations on its official forms) at $72 million.

With those kind of financials -- and controversial beliefs -- it's no wonder skeptics have accused the group of running a scam.

直近のIRSファイルによれば、Family Radioは全額寄付で賄われていて、2009年だけで1800万ドルの寄付を集めている。これらの財務書類から、会計士はFamily Radioが合計で7200万ドルを集めたと算出した。このような財務状況と、論争な信条から、この団体は詐欺を行っていると批難する懐疑論者がでてくるのも当然である。

[Annalyn Censky: "May 21 End of the World: Harold Camping's $72M business" (2011/05/19) on CNN Money]

Followers of Baptist preacher William Miller believed it would all be over on Oct. 22, 1844. Oct. 23 of that year marked the start of what historians would dub the Great Disappointment.

On Feb. 14, 1835, Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith announced that Jesus Christ would return to earth within 56 years, or before Feb. 15, 1891.

The Watchtower Society, more commonly known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, has prophesied the end would come at least six times since 1914.

And today, the end is to come again.

バプテスト説教師William Millerの信者たちは世界が1844年10月22日に終わると信じていた。その年の10月23日は歴史学者たちの言うところの"Great Disappointment"(大がっかり)の始まりとなった。

1835年2月13日に、モルモン教会の創立者Joseph Smithはイエスキリストが56年以内、すなわち1892年2月15日までに再臨すると述べた。



[The end of the world is near - again (2011/05/21) on TImesLeader]
ついでだが、記事最初の大がっかりは、その後にSeventh Day Adventistとして成長している。


もちろんFamily RadioHarold Campingなどのキーワードはお祭り中...
posted by Kumicit at 2011/05/21 15:21 | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | Skeptic | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする



Leon Festingerは、1954年12月21日に世界が滅ぶと信じたカルトを観察し、予言の破綻によって、カルトが信念をむしろ強化することを見出した。
How would people so emotionally invested in a belief system react, now that it had been soundly refuted? At first, the group struggled for an explanation. But then rationalization set in. A new message arrived, announcing that they'd all been spared at the last minute. Festinger summarized the extraterrestrials' new pronouncement: "The little group, sitting all night long, had spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction." Their willingness to believe in the prophecy had saved Earth from the prophecy!

感情的に深く信じていたものが、完膚なきまでに論破されたとき、人々はどう反応するのか?まず、カルトは説明を求めて努力した。しかし、その後、合理化が起きた。新たなメッセージが到着し、最後の瞬間に彼らが予言を免れたことを知らされた。Festingerは地球外生命の新たな宣告を次ように要約した。「小さな集団が、一晩座って、あまりにも光を放っていたので、神が世界を破壊から救ったのだ」 予言を信じたいという意欲が予言から地球を救ったのだと。
[Chris Mooney: "The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science" (2011/04/18) on Mother Jones, ]
Jamie L. Vernonによれば、同様の例を我々はまもなく観察できるらしい。
Yesterday, it was brought to my attention by Sam Harris that a group of Christian activists have predicted that the world will end on May 21, 2011. This is a ripe opportunity for those of us who are interested in the psychology of denial to collect data.

昨日、私はSam Harrisの記事で、とあるキリスト教の活動家グループが世界は2011年5月21日終わると予言していることを知った。これは集まったデータを否定する心理に興味がある人々には良い機会だ。

The group is a non-denominational Christian organization. They have erected billboards, handed out pamphlets and paid for ads on subway trains that claim “Judgment Day is coming.” Their leader is a not-so-youthful 89 year old radio host Harold Camping, who has a long history of doomsaying. In fact, Camping has once before been forced to face disconfirmation when his prediction that the end of days would come in 1994 (accompanied by a book of the same name) was proven false. In true cognitive dissonance form, Camping conveniently realized that he had overlooked the Book of Jeremiah. After recalculating, he concluded that May 21, 2011 was the actual date for the rapture.

このグループは特定宗派に属さないキリスト教団体である。彼らは看板を立て、パンフレットを配り、地下鉄に広告を出して、審判の日は近いと言っている。彼らの指導者は若くはない89歳のラジオホストHarold Campingである。彼は長きにわたって世界の滅びを語ってきた。事実、Harold Campingは1994年に世界がほろぶと予言して、はずれに直面した。正しい認知不協和の形で、Harold Campingはエレミヤ書を見落としていたことに気づいた。再計算して、2011年5月21日がラプチャーの日だと結論した。

Festinger’s theory predicts that, despite the warnings ahead of time, once the world is shown to still exist on May 22, we should expect Camping and his group to express increased fervor for their beliefs, likely accompanied by a new prediction.

Festingerの理論は、予言されたのに、2011年5月22日になっても世界が存在していたら、Harold Campingと彼のグループは新たな予言とともに自らの信条を強めると予測する。

[Jamie L. Vernon: "Cognitive Dissonance & the May 21st Apocalypse" (2011/05/12) on The Intersection]

ペトロの手紙二 / 3章 8節

創世記 / 7章 4節

In 2 Peter 3:8, which is quoted above, Holy God reminds us that one day is as 1,000 years. Therefore, with the correct understanding that the seven days referred to in Genesis 7:4 can be understood as 7,000 years, we learn that when God told Noah there were seven days to escape worldwide destruction, He was also telling the world there would be exactly 7,000 years (one day is as 1,000 years) to escape the wrath of God that would come when He destroys the world on Judgment Day. Because Holy Infinite God is all-knowing, He knows the end from the beginning. He knew how sinful the world would become.

Seven thousand years after 4990 B.C. (the year of the Flood) is the year 2011 A.D. (our calendar).

4990 + 2011 – 1 = 7,000

Amazingly, May 21, 2011 is the 17th day of the 2nd month of the Biblical calendar of our day. Remember, the flood waters also began on the 17th day of the 2nd month, in the year 4990 B.C.



4990 + 2011 -1 = 7000


[JudementDay on FamilyRadio]
かなり無理な論理だが、それは些細なこと。検証すべきは、Harold Campingが新たな予言を出して、信者たちが信念を強化するか否か。
posted by Kumicit at 2011/05/13 08:16 | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | Skeptic | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする



Chris Mooneyの「我々が科学を信じない理由についての科学」(1)(2)(3)(4)で、"動機づけられた推論(Motivated Reasoning)"を取り上げたChris Mooneyが、それに関して、Prof Dan Kahanによる"動機づけられた認識(Motivated Cognition)"を取り上げている。
To begin, motivated cognition refers to the unconscious tendency of individuals to fit their processing of information to conclusions that suit some end or goal. Consider a classic example. In the 1950s, psychologists asked experimental subjects, students from two Ivy League colleges, to watch a film that featured a set of controversial officiating calls made during a football game between teams from their respective schools. The students from each school were more likely to see the referees’ calls as correct when it favored their school than when it favored their rival. The researchers concluded that the emotional stake the students had in affirming their loyalty to their respective institutions shaped what they saw on the tape.

"動機づけられた認識"とは、ある終結点あるいは到達点に合致した結論に情報処理をフィットさせようとする個人の無意識の傾向のことを指す。古典的な例を挙げよう。1950年代に、心理学者たちはIvy Leagueの大学の学生たちから募集した被験者たちに、彼らが在学する大学が行ったフットボールの試合で審判が問題になった場面の動画を見せた。各大学の学生は自分の大学に有利な判定を、対戦相手に有利な判定よりも、判定が正しいとみる傾向があった。研究者たちは、学生たちが自分が在学する大学への忠誠心を持つという感情的関係によって、動画に何を見たかが形作られると結論した。

[Dan Kahan: What is motivated reasoning how does it work - Dan Kahan Answers (2011/05/05) on Chris Mooney's Intersection]

To be sure, motivated cognition can make us stupid, but it is not a consequence of stupidity. Social psychologists and behavioral economists distinguish between two forms of reasoning: “System 1,” which is rapid, intuitive, emotional, and prone to bias, and “System 2,” which is more deliberate, more reflective, more dispassionate, and (it is said) more accurate. A long line of research in social psychology, however, shows that “motivated cognition” spans the divide−that is, that needs and goals can unconsciously steer not only rapid “gut” reactions, but also even more systematic forms of analysis that are thought to be examples of “System 2.” ...




==>トンデモは連鎖するのは"自然"な成り行きかも (2009/05/19)



posted by Kumicit at 2011/05/06 22:23 | Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | Skeptic | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする