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Important and rare: A science reporter’s reflections on a controversial story

On ScienceInsider for the American Association for the Advance of Science, science writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel writes, “Bad luck and cancer: A science reporter’s reflections on a controversial story.”

She looks back at the brouhaha caused by a paper published in Science on January 2, by a news release from Johns Hopkins University (home of the paper’s authors), and by interviews conducted with the authors.

And she looks in the mirror at her own story and reverse-engineers and self-critiques.

I will not excerpt it because you should read the entire piece yourself.

I’m blogging about it briefly and including a link as one way of ensuring that I archive this piece for the future.

Nice job, Jennifer.  One of my colleagues wanted to give you an “atta girl… for being brave enough to write about her own story” and for showing “integrity and guts for coming out and explaining her own mistake.”

ADDENDUM on January 18:

For a terrific overview of this study and of the journalism that followed, see Tabitha Powledge’s piece, “Cancer: Bad luck, bad writing, and maybe a bad paper.


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