31 May 2006
Wednesday 31 May 2006 21:30-22:15 (Radio 3)
Who speaks for Science? The complicated relationship between science and the media is the subject for tonight's Night Waves; Undercurrents with Philip Dodd and guests.
Science needs the media to encourage funding and promote ideas. But science also accuses the media of trivialising its efforts and misinterpreting its findings.
For the media, science provides stories - some serious some sensational - that help its readers negotiate their changing relationship with the natural world. But the media also accuses scientists of over-complicating their subject and of living a sheltered existence removed from everyday realities.
In an age when science has become the subject of political controversy and moral anxiety who should the public look to for enlightenment? Do scientists, like politicians, need an intelligent scrutinising press? Or do we allow the pursuit of scientific knowledge to be hijacked by the agenda of broadsheets and tabloids at our peril?
On tonight's Night Waves; Undercurrents, Philip Dodd is joined by Dr Ben Goldacre, author of the newspaper column Bad Science; Vivienne Parry, who can safely claim to be the only science writer to have worked simultaneously for the journal of Molecular Biology and the News of the World; the broadcaster Gabrielle Walker and Professor Sir Patrick Bateson, Fellow of the Royal Society.