Media makes fiction of science?



President Dalrymple's editorial (Eos, Jan. 29) refers to the sometimes daunting challenge of the relationship among the scientific community, the media, and the public. True to its perplexing subjective objectivity, the media chose deference to the so-called earthquake expert of the unrealized New Madrid event, who was described matter-of-factly as a “trained biologist, now climatologist,”! and along with the latter, an equally untrained seismologist. His exposition of earthquake causes more of ancient than modern science, the pseudo-expert was described by the local media as “on vacation” at the time his forecast went “bust.” The media, uncharacteristically, provided no “follow-up” analysis. Let off the hook once again, the newsworthy realm of pseudo-science is primed for another outing.