Posts Tagged: internet science

Sep 15

You Won’t Believe How Scientists Are Just Barely Excited!

Internet headlines and scientists just don’t fit together, in any cogent way. The latest one is “Black Hole Stuns Scientists”. It’s way bigger than expected, doesn’t really fit with current theory. I can just picture how stunned they are. “Hmm,” say the scientists, shaking their heads. “We may have to revise some theory.”

Not long ago it was, “Scientists Blown Away By Bizarre Pluto Images”. Then you look at the article and they’re, “Yeah, we were surprised at the stark topographical contrasts.” You get this lurid exaggeration all the time–and this is from fairly respectable sites. If we’re to believe these headline writers, typical scientists evidently are routinely high on meth, pure THC, and, on odd days, LSD.

I suppose journalists or their management, stuck with the science beat (they often seem to know little about science), are trying to get a lot of “hits” at the site, so they say Scientist Eyes are Bugging Out and Bouncing Off the Opposite Wall When They Realize Comet May Have Water. Or something. They’re told to “get people interested”. Often the way in politics too. “Career Shattering Revelation” turns out to be about an email server.