Home > Catastrophism, Climate Change, Global Warming, Omniclimate, Science, Skepticism > Poor Overall Quality Of BBC Science Pages – Not Just Climate Change

Poor Overall Quality Of BBC Science Pages – Not Just Climate Change

Interesting to see Ben Goldacre (here and here) and then Paul Bradshaw (here) complain about the BBC’s “bizarre” policy of linking to “journal homepages, and university homepages” rather than to the actual article being discussed. Goldacre:

there are the many serious problems raised by linking to university homepages (eg glasgow.ac.uk) and journal homepages, instead of specific research. They leave it completely ambiguous as to what piece of research was being described, often there is insufficient information in the news article to identify it, often time has passed and it is unclear what issue of the journal someone should be looking in

One of Bradshaw’s points might sound very familiar with people interested to understand climate change beyond the catastrophical rubbish so often mentioned as “science”:

Authoritative, accurate and attractive coverage relies at least in part in allowing users to point out issues with scientific research or its reporting

It is very unlikely the BBC will change its attitude…the Corporation is not built to correct itself based on readers’ comments. Still, people can vote with their mouse, and follow the lead of award-winning science writer Ed Yong (@edyong209):

Just unfollowed the BBC Science pages. What’s the point? Bland, linkless coverage. Times, Wired, NYT, Nature all far better.

  1. lucklucky
    2010/03/13 at 21:55

    Talking about media, look at this misleading photo from the Guardian. It was cloud “darkning” the water vapour or a photoshop job, either way misleading.


    • 2010/03/13 at 22:58

      thank you lucklucky…what a load of unmitigated rubbish, Rivkin’s “empathy vs entropy”

  2. Umbongo
    2010/03/10 at 18:32


    I got bored after, what was it, the sixth explosion followed by the tenth inflation of the balloon. Talk about patronising!

    However, the surprising (and welcome) bits were the paeans to scepticism and the evident ambition of the scientists to find something beyond the “settled” science. The scientists take it for granted that the science of cosmology isn’t settled unlike, of course, the science of climate. The president of the Royal Society, no less, on BBC Radio 4 Today this morning informed a sceptical nation that scepticism had gone too far and that the IPCC’s efforts are based on “sound science”.

  3. cmb
    2010/03/10 at 16:19

    Why not simply put all the keywords into a google search? I generally have very little trouble finding the relevant articles in under 5 minutes – this sounds like an operator problem.

    I have noted that many journals require a subscription to view articles. Perhaps this is the problem in some cases.

  4. 2010/03/10 at 14:18


    I watched ‘Wonders of the Solar System’ last night and was in awe.

    Plus I’d almost forgotten what a nicely produced, well-presented piece of agenda free educational science could be like.

  5. 2010/03/10 at 13:36
  6. 2010/03/10 at 13:03

    Sadly, I think ‘voting’ with one’s ‘feet’ (or mouse) is in this case an unsatisfactory option.

    This matters. A lot. It is our objective national broadcaster. A funded entity with a guaranteed audience in the UK alone of tens of millions.

    Yet the BBC’s reporting of ‘science’ does not seem to have much credibility. Crikey… look above!

    So I very much hope, and trust (if an unfortunate word to use here) Aunty might well see merit in ‘listening to readers’ comments’ (not hopeful as it seems hell bent on getting back to british BROADCAST-only corporation mode asap, and especially with the online offering) and, if with fair introspection does find areas wanting… change its attitude.

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