Barbara Strauch, biträdande vetenskapsredaktör med ansvar för hälsorapportering på New York Times, svarar på läsarfrågor till och med imorgon (länk).
Vissa frågor besvarar Strauch själv, andra bollar hon vidare till lämpliga vetenskapsreportrar med expertis i ämnet. New York Times är välkänt för sin vetenskapsrapportering, så det är intressant läsning. Svaren är ganska långa, men jag har klippt ut några bra bitar:
Om värdet av erfarna reportrar:
"Our first and best resources are the reporters here at The Times, most of whom have science and medical academic backgrounds (we even have two doctors on staff), as well as years of experience covering medicine. As with all good reporters, they follow their noses and their natural curiosity and, frankly, that's where we get most of our news, health or otherwise. What's more, through the years, those reporters have built up and are in regular contact with trusted sources in the medical and scientific community, who alert them to upcoming news as well as help us put breaking news in context."
"I must say that, personally, in all my jobs in journalism, sorting out health news is one of the hardest I have run across, in part because of the hype and — more alarming — the financial ties and conflicts of interest of many researchers."
"Too often, research grants are awarded for safer ideas that everyone knows will produce real — but often tiny — results. [...] over all, as research has become so expensive, there does seem to be a reluctance to finance ideas that are completely outside the box."
Om den vetenskapliga publiceringsprocesen:
"There's an entire system in place that regulates how science and medical news is officially presented. Most of that is controlled by privately owned journals that send major research papers out for peer review then publish what they decide is noteworthy. But that means that the private journals, and the people they select to review the science, are deciding what is science news. [...] This system — having most research first reviewed and published by journals — is set up, in part, to make sure there's serious review of scientific discoveries. But it can be frustrating. And it can mean that some science that should be reported is not. There are many, including myself, who wish that all science was published with free and open access for everyone."
Mer frågor och svar finns via länken ovan, men det här tyckte jag var de intressantaste bitarna. Vill du ställa en egen fråga, maila firstname.lastname@example.org.