The teaching of evolution theory in schools in several European countries and the USA has been contested by different groups of creationists. These debates have been reported in the media. Media coverage of the debate over whether creationist explanations of the origin of life should be taught in science classes is the subject of this research. The paper focuses on the role of expertise in British newspaper coverage of this issue. The results show that a range of experts were cited in the coverage, and that these experts drew on the rhetoric of science to defend their positions, whether as creationists or evolutionists.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Representing science education in the media
Newspaper coverage of evolutionary theory and creationist explanations

Joachim Allgaier   The Open University, UK

The teaching of evolution theory in schools in several European countries and the USA has been contested by different groups of creationists. These debates have been reported in the media. Media coverage of the debate over whether creationist explanations of the origin of life should be taught in science classes is the subject of this research. The paper focuses on the role of expertise in British newspaper coverage of this issue. The results show that a range of experts were cited in the coverage, and that these experts drew on the rhetoric of science to defend their positions, whether as creationists or evolutionists.

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