Friday, October 29, 2004

Creeping Lysenkoism

Based on dubious and politically driven "science," Texas passes a law requiring that women seeking abortions be warned that the procedure may cause breast cancer. What happens when a reporter reveals the law's scientific foundations to be shaky? He is attacked, of course, for want of "balance." A Chris Mooney piece in the current issue of the Columbia Journalism Review explores the ethos and consequences of "fair and balanced" science coverage as it relates to the Texas law, global warming, and other scientific issues that find their way to the political arena. Thanks to TVC Alert for the pointer.


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Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.