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Showing posts from October, 2014

Fox News demonstrates both good and bad ways to cover Ebola

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Some news outlets, including Fox, have been wildly spreading fears about Ebola. As an example of both good and bad ways that the media covers science, let’s take a look at a recent clip from Fox News in which they interview Dr. David Sanders about the possibility of Ebola virus mutating to become airborne-transmissible (right now it is only spread by direct contact!)


Their story is titled "Purdue professor says Ebola 'primed' to go airborne." Here is a link to the video.
I’ll start off with the good things:
1) Dr. Sanders did a good job explaining that Ebola is not airborne right now, but there is a "non-zero" probability that Ebola might mutate to infect the lungs and become air transmissible. And this probability increases as more people are infected. 2) The newscasters did a good job of accurately recapping what he was explaining without blowing it out of proportion.
Now for some bad things:
1) Quite obviously, the scare-you-into-clicking-on-it title. First o…

At the interface of science and society - a career fostering public interest in science at The Franklin Institute.

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Everybody loves science museums. Their fun and interactive way of presenting science reconnects you with your childhood self, when you were curious, when you wondered, and when you were so amazed that you could only manage to say, “Wow!” But what is it like to work at a science museum?
On Wednesday, we hosted Jayatri Das, PhD, to describe her career engaging the public with science as the Chief Bioscientist at The Franklin Institute. As you would expect, her transition from the lab into the museum was cultivated by a strong interest in outreach and teaching. After receiving her PhD from Princeton, she gained experience as a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow developing programs for the Marian Koshland Science Museum in Washington, DC. Following a short post-doctoral appointment, she landed a position with The Franklin Institute, an opportunity that she partly ascribes to fortuitous timing, as PhD level positions at museums are rare.
In her job she embraces a new…