Tag: science journalism

  • On that anti-mRNA vaccines video

    On that anti-mRNA vaccines video

    The Times of India has published an irresponsible article today on a video by a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) claiming with dubious evidence that all mRNA vaccines are harmful. The article quotes from the video at length, effectively offering less-sceptical readers a transcript and encouraging the uncritical absorption of the video’s […]

  • Should journos pay scientists for their expertise?

    Should journos pay scientists for their expertise?

    I recently came across a question posed on Twitter, asking if experts whom journalists consult to write articles should be compensated for their labour, especially since, in the tweeter’s words, “it’s quite a bit of effort”. The tweeter clarified their position further in some of the conversations that sprang up in response. I felt compelled […]

  • The identity of scientific papers

    The identity of scientific papers

    This prompt arose in response to Stuart Ritchie’s response to a suggestion in an editorial “first published last year but currently getting some attention on Twitter” – that scientists should write their scientific papers as if they were telling a story, with a beginning, middle and end. The act of storytelling produces something entertaining by […]

  • Saying bye to The Wire

    Saying bye to The Wire

    November 30, 2022, is my last day.

  • The strange NYT article on taming minks

    I’m probably waking up late to this but the New York Times has published yet another article in which it creates a false balance by first focusing on the problematic side of a story for an inordinately long time, without any of the requisite qualifications and arguments, before jumping, in the last few paragraphs to one or […]

  • Yes, scientific journals should publish political rebuttals

    If they can.

  • What makes ‘good science journalism’?

    From ‘Your Doppelgänger Is Out There and You Probably Share DNA With Them’, The New York Times, August 23, 2022: Dr. Esteller also suggested that there could be links between facial features and behavioral patterns, and that the study’s findings might one day aid forensic science by providing a glimpse of the faces of criminal […]

  • The Higgs boson and I

    My first byline as a professional journalist (a.k.a. my first byline ever) was oddly for a tech story – about the advent of IPv6 internet addresses. I started writing it after 7 pm, had to wrap it up by 9 pm and it was published in the paper the next day (I was at The Hindu). […]

  • Press releases and public duty

    From ‘Science vs Marketing’, published on In The Dark, on May 20, 2022: … there is an increasing tendency for university press offices to see themselves entirely as marketing agencies instead of informing and/or educating the public. Press releases about scientific research nowadays rarely make any attempt at accuracy – they are just designed to get the […]

  • Sci-Hub isn’t just for scientists

    Quite a few reporters from other countries have reached out to me, directly or indirectly, to ask about scientists to whom they can speak about how important Sci-Hub is to their work. This attention to Sci-Hub is commendable, against the backdrop of the case in Delhi high court, filed by a consortium of three ‘legacy’ […]