Ars Technica decision to reject reporting on latest cellphone scare study illustrates how journalists apply science literacy

cell phone radiation anti media
[Recently], a fellow editor emailed me a link to yet another study purporting to show that cellphone use could be associated with cancer.

[W]e thought we’d describe how we went about evaluating the paper, since it could help more people identify similar issues in the future.

 

A quick glance at the study identified significant issues with its primary conclusion. Normally, at this point, the decision would be to skip coverage unless the study picked up unwarranted attention from the rest of the media. (See: Scott Kelly’s DNA). But in this case, we thought we’d describe how we went about evaluating the paper, since it could help more people identify similar issues in the future.

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[T]he normal response to a study like this would be to simply ignore it unless it became widely discussed. But highlighting the process that we use to decide to ignore it should give you a sense of how we determine what to cover when it comes to scientific studies at Ars. And, if you decide to try this method at home, it can also help you determine which results to pay attention to.

Read full, original post: A critical analysis of the latest cellphone safety scare

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