31 July 2007

Almost fact free science reporting

From the BBC website... yet again. This time it's about left handedness: Scientists at Oxford University have identified a gene LRRTM1 that appears to be linked to left handedness, but there's a hitch according to this article the gene is also linked with schizophrenia. Except for this idea seems at the moment only an idea which hasn't yet been investigated there are too many mays and nothing definite - the article says the risk is only slight, well how slight, 1 in 1 000, 1 in 10 000, a million? and the killer quote for me is.
We don't yet know the precise role of this gene.
If the BBC reported the arts or politics in such a slapdash manner there would be uproar, questions in the House of Commons and general carpeting of the editors but science it doesn't matter as long as they can twist something sensational out of it.


  1. At least someone reports science stories where you live.

    Bush has all but banished science. And the corporate media only reports science stories if they want to because the science agrees with their political agenda. Like global warming is a myth because if it is real it will cost too many rich white men too much money to do something about it. Or evolution is a myth because some man in a dress says that his book written over 2,000 years ago says otherwise.

    consider yourself lucky you have the BBC.

    I hope your new Prime Minister just tells Bush to piss off. In public. While Bush is standing next to him and the news cameras are all on.

  2. Sadly, judging by pictures in the paper today, it appears that our Prime Minister preferes to ride in a golf buggy with George. Maybe he's just trying to find the right moment to tell him to piss off though :)

    On the left handed thing though, being a left hander myself i also thought the article seemed abit slapdash, almost as if the beeb had the story and need to spice it up abit........

  3. I am left handed. Here in America I am more likely to die in a car crash because (supposedly) my natural reaction to something is going to be to jerk the wheel to the left. We drive on the wrong side of the road here, so that action would take me into oncoming traffic.

    If your new PM is not going to tell King George to piss off, I will also take a "bugger off". The right wing press loves the new PM so far, but that was before he announced the pull out of British Troops from Iraq.

    PS Jane - Hot Fuzz is going to arrive in the mail today. If the UK has anything like Netflix you really should sign up for it. It is great.

  4. BBC science reporting is pants these days! In this story http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6920443.stm
    DNA is going to tell us whether someone was poisened or not. That wouldn't work, not even in Dr Who!