Scientists seek chemical reaction from journalistsBMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7535.242 (Published 26 January 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:242
- Naomi Marks, freelance journalist (NSMarks@aol.com)
Imagine the headline “Water: my miracle hangover cure.” Or try “E-numbers for health and vitality!” What about “Chemical cocktail saves baby's life”? If a campaign aimed at changing journalists' perceptions of all things chemical proves successful, these headlines may not prove too wide of the mark.
This week Sense About Science, a charity promoting an evidence based approach to scientific issues, launched a media briefing paper, “Making Sense of Chemical Stories” (www.senseaboutscience.org.uk). Its aim: to make mincemeat of six misconceptions that surround the science of substances.
These range from the patently ludicrous (that you can lead a “chemical-free life”) to the sadly deluded (that natural chemicals are somehow healthier than synthetic ones). …