Storytelling in science, finding the narrative. The simultaneous rise of literacy and misogyny, heavy metal harp, the mushroom mind, and a Twitter Ivermectin thread and media bias
The pandemic is not a monolithic event; it is a dance of the virus and our behavior. What we have learned about pandemics from the mistakes in our models. What about “long” COVID? Why does “if it bleeds, it leads” make sense?
The mainstream media is repeating the unscientific claims of a dishonest book. A deeper dive into the author of the book would have revealed duplicity and enormous conflicts of interest.
A malevolent troll named Paul Thacker has made a living smearing and harassing scientists on Twitter. With the blessing of editors Nikhil Swaminathan and Jennifer Block, the website Grist has now given him a platform to spread his lies.
Fear sells, which is why news outlets provide so much of it. But constant bad news is bad for our health. Turn off the TV and social media.
The coronavirus pandemic has devolved into just another partisan battle. In the process, it has revealed how poorly served Americans are by their leaders and the media.
Peter Fairley, an environmental journalist and contributing editor for MIT Technology Review, cited an anti-vaccine website, DeSmogBlog, in a smear directed at our organization. Simultaneously, he spread misinformation about influenza and COVID-19 and endorses advice that contradicts that of the CDC and World Health Organization.
The website’s strategy is clear: Throw ad hominem attacks as early and as often as possible. Why? Because it works. And the people most eager to spread the lies are self-proclaimed skeptical scientists and journalists.
Historically, microbiologists named new diseases after locations, animals or people. To this day, flu strains are named after the city in which they were first isolated. Obviously, that's because microbiologists are racist. Right?
The purpose of the Facebook page "I Fu**ing Love Science" is to popularize science while remaining scientifically accurate. However, one of its posts was recently flagged as "fake news" by Facebook fact-checkers.
I pitched a column to the journal Science titled, "How I Became a Junk Science Debunker." It was initially accepted and went through two months (and nine rounds) of editing. At the last moment, however, the column was spiked by senior editor Tim Appenzeller (pictured). Why? Because I'm a corporate shill, of course.