In China, after dissemination by mass media, some pseudo-scientific knowledge was popular in the name of traditional health care and specific features. However, these pseudo-science was doubted by the voices from new media, would soon be laid bare the true face. The strong contrast reflects some problems in science communication and mass media’s development. Why pseudo-science can get big spread on mass media, this article tries to find out the reasons---the mass media’s pursuit to commercial interests;the absence of “gatekeeper”;the lack of effective communication between scientific research institutions, professional media and mass media.

After media system reformed in China, some of mass media regard ratings and circulation as the most important, and ignore the authenticity and objectivity in science communication. They prefer to report these things that can attract people’s eye, even have not time and ability to verify if their coverage is pseudo-science. Scientific research institutions and professional media pay less attention to science communication,compared to research .The lack of effective communication between them and mass media,result scientific knowledge can not be transmitted to the public timely and accurately. Then,we have to receive pseudo-scientific knowledge on tv ,newspaper, magazine,etc.

Some people think that pseudo-science is just harmless fun. But some people deceive the public by fabricating and spreading false knowledge deliberately, to get money or other benefits. As the Chinese media has a strong authority and credibility the public is willing to believe the media reports. Once the pseudo-science was reported on mass media, it will have a bad effects on society.The spread of pseudo-science can damage mass media’s credibility, expand the“knowledge gap” further,and is not conducive to improve chinese Scientific Literacy and Creativity.

Why pseudo-science was criticized by the whole society in a short time? The development of new media makes every person become a reporter and a gatekeeper. At the lack of communication with traditional media,scientists can use new media to communicate with the public directly, and eliminate the false and retain the true. However, eachperson can spread pseudo-science on new media.

How to reduce or eliminate the spread of pseudo-science on traditional media? Some successful practices abroad tell us, we should reform media system further, improve mass media’s responsibility,for example, ratings should not be the only standard in television program.We should also improve the science communication capacity by urging scientific research institutions and professional media take part in science communication actively and enhance cooperation with mass media. To BBC, for example, the science documentary’s script is often validated by the scientists or involved in writing in person, to ensure the authenticity and objectivity in science communication. The staff responsible for science communication in BBC,
received high scientific training, some have gone beyond the identity of media workers.In essence, they have already become scientists with peculiar work way.

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PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Study about “Pseudo-science on mass media”

Jian Chen  

In China, after dissemination by mass media, some pseudo-scientific knowledge was popular in the name of traditional health care and specific features. However, these pseudo-science was doubted by the voices from new media, would soon be laid bare the true face. The strong contrast reflects some problems in science communication and mass media’s development. Why pseudo-science can get big spread on mass media, this article tries to find out the reasons---the mass media’s pursuit to commercial interests;the absence of “gatekeeper”;the lack of effective communication between scientific research institutions, professional media and mass media.

After media system reformed in China, some of mass media regard ratings and circulation as the most important, and ignore the authenticity and objectivity in science communication. They prefer to report these things that can attract people’s eye, even have not time and ability to verify if their coverage is pseudo-science. Scientific research institutions and professional media pay less attention to science communication,compared to research .The lack of effective communication between them and mass media,result scientific knowledge can not be transmitted to the public timely and accurately. Then,we have to receive pseudo-scientific knowledge on tv ,newspaper, magazine,etc.

Some people think that pseudo-science is just harmless fun. But some people deceive the public by fabricating and spreading false knowledge deliberately, to get money or other benefits. As the Chinese media has a strong authority and credibility the public is willing to believe the media reports. Once the pseudo-science was reported on mass media, it will have a bad effects on society.The spread of pseudo-science can damage mass media’s credibility, expand the“knowledge gap” further,and is not conducive to improve chinese Scientific Literacy and Creativity.

Why pseudo-science was criticized by the whole society in a short time? The development of new media makes every person become a reporter and a gatekeeper. At the lack of communication with traditional media,scientists can use new media to communicate with the public directly, and eliminate the false and retain the true. However, eachperson can spread pseudo-science on new media.

How to reduce or eliminate the spread of pseudo-science on traditional media? Some successful practices abroad tell us, we should reform media system further, improve mass media’s responsibility,for example, ratings should not be the only standard in television program.We should also improve the science communication capacity by urging scientific research institutions and professional media take part in science communication actively and enhance cooperation with mass media. To BBC, for example, the science documentary’s script is often validated by the scientists or involved in writing in person, to ensure the authenticity and objectivity in science communication. The staff responsible for science communication in BBC,
received high scientific training, some have gone beyond the identity of media workers.In essence, they have already become scientists with peculiar work way.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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