One of the problems with science communication is that we are always a day or two behind the mass media. The general pattern is this:
- Bad research is published or a crazy person makes a crazy claim.
- The mass media gets a hold of it, and broadcasts it all over the world.
- Sane people are alerted to this nonsense, who then have to craft an evidence-based response. That takes a substantial amount of time and effort and, as a result, a lie circles the globe before the truth gets its shoes on.
A preemptive solution is ideal. Science communicators should hunt down kooky conspiracies, then take them behind the barn and shoot them before they have the opportunity to gain a substantial following. But here's the catch: How does one identify which...