Controversy and possible routes

December 29, 2006

Thought: could make it specifically about the reporting of controversy. What is balance in this situation? Could expand slightly to include SCIENTIFIC as opposed to just MEDICAL controversy.

Choose various areas that are treated as controversies in the press and see if they have any common features.

Obvious controversies: MMR, ID/creationism, climate change

 Common features:

  • Controversy in press/popular opinion much greater than within scientific community
  • Correct course of action if majority scientific opinion accurate much scarier/requiring of lifestyle change than correct course of action if not: carbon emissions, risk of autism (arguable: removal of religious security blanket? Think through when not nearly midnight)

So: perhaps, go through various “scientific” controversies, draw common features of reporting and public opinion, use to inform study of MMR (as it’s the medical one and this is after all the Centre for Medical Law and Ethics), and final section could be on conclusions/advice for future. Again, go through this when you’re more awake.

 Anyway. Just a thought.

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