Bad Science Stories in 10 Easy Steps

TR Gregory offers advice on how to write really terrible, horrible, no good, very bad science stories for widespread distribution. By following these ten simple guidelines, you too can keep the public ignorant and hold back the Enlightenment!

Here’s a taste:

Appeal to common misconceptions, and substitute your own opinions and misunderstandings for the views of the scientific community.

It is important that readers’ misconceptions not be challenged when reading a news story. In fact, the more a report can reinforce misunderstandings of basic scientific principles, the better. This can be combined with step 6 [Use buzzwords and clichés whenever possible] to good effect. It is also helpful to insert your own views and misunderstandings as though they were those of the scientific community at large. For example, if you find something confusing, mysterious, or (un)desirable, assume that the scientific community as a whole shares your view.

It’s a great essay, and I don’t just say that because of the references he cites.

And while you’re visiting Prof. Gregory’s place, why don’t you help find out how much good one blog post can do?