Researchers are encouraged to embrace the media to communicate their science. But are the sexy headlines at the expense of telling stories of real significance?
Recently, I got into a heated discussion with a colleague who felt I’d written about a fossil discovery that was not worthy of attention. They believed the author was only interested in self-promotion and the fossil was of no scientific importance. My reasons for covering it were simple: I thought it was a story the public would find interesting, and more importantly it provided an opportunity to broaden out the subject for readers.
In my colleague’s opinion, however, these were the wrong reasons. They explained the story was not worthy of attention, no matter what the public thought. It is up to us as scientists to tell the public what they should find interesting.