Unit 1: Unit 1: Science in the Home Office: How to Find Trustorthy Information – Discussion

To answer everyday questions, you turn to information that is made readily available to you at the click of a button. In today’s fast-paced world you are often bombarded with more information than any one person can handle. With the 24-hour news cycle, the media tries to capture your attention with sensational stories and catchy headlines. However, there are many other headlines that do not seem to have the widespread marketable appeal — and therefore they are largely unnoticed by the general public.

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Communication of scientific results usually takes place in a peer-reviewed journal. A peer-reviewed journal is one in which other experts in the specific field read and critique the author’s article, including their research and results, before it can be published in the journal. This process is done to maintain the standards of research. To find an example of a research article that has gone through the peer-review process, use the “Biology Newsfinder” tool in the Wiley Plus® “Science in the News” resource. Access this tool through the link in the left hand navigation for this unit.

On the other hand, there are many publications that do not use peer-review, such as newspapers and magazines. These publications rely on the judgment of the editor to ensure that the material contained is appropriate and at the set standard of the publication.

Think about how scientists conduct their work and report it to the world, compared to how the media (including newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the internet) broadcast information. In your posts this week answer the following questions:

  1. How often do you rely on media for scientific information to make decisions in your life?
  2. Provide a specific example of scientific results being reported in media (e.g., a flu epidemic, a projected storm, or fracking). Be sure to include the headline, APA citation, and one sentence summary of the report.
  3. Are there times when it is more appropriate to rely on media-reported science and other times when it is more appropriate to rely on peer-reviewed scientific results? Explain.
  4. What do you think is the primary difference between communication of scientific results in the scientific community (peer-reviewed journals) and news media reporting?
  5. Can the media influence the decisions that you make and how you feel about a topic on scientific research? Provide at least one example.

Be sure to review the Discussion Board Grading Rubric provided in the Course Syllabus.

For help with citations, refer to the APA Quick Reference Guide.

Use this reference when referring to your text:

Trefil, J., & Hazen, R.M. (2013). The sciences: An integrated approach. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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