Biology

Press releases are a summary of some event at an institution (such as a university, medical center, political campaign, etc.) that are directed at the media to increase the chances of that event being reported. I wont accept press releases as sources for the article analyses, and you will probably wonder why, especially since they are often many of the first hits you get when searching. This assignment is intended to clear that up.

First, read these (in any order, the numbers are for referencing):

https://psmag.com/social-justice/scientists-contribute-bad-science-reporting-96801
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/may/30/bad-science-goldacre-medical-research
https://www.badscience.net/2009/01/drink-coffee-see-dead-people/

Based on the readings, decide whether press releases are or aren’t a good way to learn about the newest discoveries in biology. Provide at least 3 pieces of supporting evidence for your position. Write as if your reader disagrees with you and attempt to convince them your position is valid.

Additionally, explain the value of press releases–since they are so common, they must be doing something useful for someone.

Address the following:

What is the goal of a press release?
What is the goal of an article in (for example) the science section of the New York Times?
Who is writing a press release, and who is writing a popular science article?
Which is more likely to be biased toward a particular outcome? Why?
You can, of course, discuss other issues, but support your positions with information from the readings. Tell me if you are using the readings by putting the reading number in parenthesis at the end of the sentence when you do. Like this (reading 99). You can also include your own opinions and experience.

This must be written in your own words, without directly quoting parts of the readings. I am primarily interested in understanding your line of reasoning, so there isnt a particular right answer. Since I am trying to see how you come to your conclusions, it is important that you write clearly. That requires paying attention to things like word choice, spelling, grammar and syntax. There is no minimum length requirement, but limit yourself to 1000 words (or fewer).

 
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