A New Year’s resolution for journalists

A New Year’s resolution for journalists
Image: Shutterstock

2016 was a year to forget…. Surely, 2017 must have something better in store.

To ensure that it does, we all must resolve to make it so. And as a science journalist, I can do my part by adopting these four resolutions. I hope other journalists join me.

(1) We resolve to be as objective as humanly possible. Total objectivity is impossible. Even if we do not have strong political leanings, all humans differ in their priorities and values. That alone prevents 100% objectivity. (For instance, I believe biomedical science is far more important than climate change, and my reportage reflects that….)

(2) Because all humans are inherently biased, we will be as transparent as possible in our analyses. Transparency requires that we state our values up front. When I was head editor at RealClearScience, we took this dedication to transparency to an absolute extreme by publishing our political leanings, which earned us praise from many quarters. Here at ACSH, we unapologetically promote evidence-based science and medicine, regardless if it originates from academia or industry. Good science is good and junk science is junk, no matter who paid for it.

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