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through the looking glass

Last month, I chaired a debate at the Royal Institution exploring the different expectations scientists and journalists have for science media. I was asked to write up my notes for the Guardian science blog, and picked out three questions from the many we discussed on the night.

1. Is climate change a qualitatively different issue from more general questions about science in the media? Any area of science is different from another: we should be careful of talking about science as if it were a cohesive whole, just as we should be careful of lumping together the whole of ‘the media’ too. Still, I think there is a lot to be said for taking time to consider what it is precisely about climate science that distinguishes it. As Joe Smith argued recently, the topic is rather a hard sell for the media: “Climate change science is looking at the…

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