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HomeVideoAnalyzing Science News: A Conversation

Analyzing Science News: A Conversation

Continuing the conversation from last week’s video “4 Tips to Spot Bad Science Reporting,” host Myles Bess sits down with Above the Noise science producer, Lauren Farrar to answer viewer questions.

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ABOVE THE NOISE is a show that cuts through the hype and takes a deeper look at the science behind controversial and trending topics in the news. Hosted by Myles Bess and Shirin Ghaffary.


In an era of sensationalized news and “alternative facts” it can be hard to figure out what to believe or not. And this is especially true when it comes to science and health news. In last week’s video “Top 4 Tips to Spot Bad Science Reporting” host Myles Bess helps tells you what to look for when analyzing a science news source. And it can all be summed up with a handy little acronym: G-L-A-D.

What to look for when reading or watching science news?
We’ve combed through resources, and talked to scientists, journalists and educators to come up with our top four tips to help you become a critical consumer of science news. We call it G.L.A.D. :

Get past the clickbait

Look out for crazy claims

Analyze sources

Determine outside expert opinions

–What is clickbait?
Clickbait is a term used to describe eye-catching and often sensationalized phrases and images designed to make viewers click on an Internet link, often to increase the number of views or for commercial gain.

— What’s the difference between “fake news” and a misleading headline?
Fake news is generally not based on reality. It’s something completely made up, whereas a misleading headline is often based on something real (like real scientific research) but the headline is just hyped or exaggerated.

–What is a credible source for science news?
Questions to ask yourself when determining if a source is credible: Where is the information in the article coming from? Is it from research published in a well-respected peer reviewed journal, or is it coming from an organization or person with an agenda? Who are the scientists quoted in the article? Does the article ask scientists who were not involved with the research what they think about it? Are the scientists interviewed qualified to talk about the subject matter? Do they work at research institutes, universities, think tanks, pharmaceutical companies, etc.?

To join the conversation, visit KQED Learning’s blog for students called Do Now:…

Sketchy Open-Access Science Journals as determined through an investigation:…
Understanding Science: Untangling Media Messages and Public Policies…
HealthNewsReview: Tips for Analyzing Studies, Medical Evidence and Health Care Claims…
Greater Good: 10 Questions to ask about Scientific Studies:…
Forbes: 10 questions to distinguish real from fake science:…
Analyzing Science Media:…

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KQED, an NPR and PBS affiliate in San Francisco, CA, serves Northern California and beyond with a public-supported alternative to commercial TV, Radio and web media.

Funding for Above the Noise is provided in part by S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, David Bulfer and Kelly Pope, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, The Koret Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Smart Family Foundation, The Vadasz Family Foundation and the members of KQED.