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Reviews Press

Scientists seek chemical reaction from journalists

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 26 January 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:242
  1. Naomi Marks, freelance journalist (
  1. Brighton

    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” ( 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). …

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