Friday, October 07, 2005

What Happens When No One Wants to Talk About It?

If there weren't Romenesko, I would read three books per week. Every day at, or a little after, noon, the printer near my desks chugs out a number of articles chronicling the day-to-day going-ons of the media world. Damn good reading, all of it.

I wouldn't have found this article at Inside Higher Ed, if not for it. "The Media World as It Is," wrtten by Michael Bugeja, is a fascinating look at the current state of media.

This paragraph late in the article really caught my attention, because it's so true: "Sources who can explain the complex issues of our era, including biotechnology and bioterrorism, often opt out of the social debate. This includes scientists at our best universities. They see the media world as it is … and so have refrained from commenting on it. Increasingly the new silent majority will not go public with their facts or informed perspectives because, they realize, they will be pilloried for doing so by the omnipresent fear-mongers and sensationalists who provide a diet of conflict and provocation in the media."

Just think about this in the backdrop of the current "debate" on the notion of intelligent design, where the majority of scientists have opted out of fighting the battle against the Raelians and other viewpoints-- they're trying to not give it further credence.

But do we suffer because of it? In the case of intelligent design -- although I'm convinced that it's an argument realists will never win -- yes. In a variety of other cases, this is even more true as well. It gives pause to the thought of what happens when a tree falls in a wood...


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