CNN and Science Coverage

Deborah Blum writes how she, and her dog, no longer watch CNN due to its cut backs on science coverage:

We abandoned the whole Cable News Network operation in the first week of December, the day after the organization announced that it was closing down its science, technology and environmental news department, firing its chief science correspondent, Miles O’Brien, six executive producers, and the rest of the science-savvy support staff.

Candidly, the boycott hasn’t been much a sacrifice. The basic news — economy, war, economy, corrupt politicians, economy — isn’t that hard to find elsewhere. But we’re standing on our principles. We will only invest our time in news operations, including the one I’m writing for now, which are smart enough to know that informed science coverage is absolutely an essential part of the news of the day…

I believe that science and technology shape, often dramatically, the world we live in today. I also believe such fast-moving changes need to be explained – thoroughly, skeptically, beautifully – to people who don’t work with or normally follow the world of science. So that when health officials urge us to get a winter flu shot, we can evaluate our own risks and benefits. So that the connections between industrial gases and global climate change are shown with clear logic. So that that when the National Research Council announces, as it last week, that the Bush administration has failed to effectively investigate the risks of nanotechnology, we can decide whether or not to worry.

Her dog too? This makes her dog more concerned with science than far too many Republicans and members of the Bush administration. But then that’s why one reason I bought a bumper sticker which says, “My Dog is Smarter than Your President.”

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