Thursday, December 29, 2016

It's not nice to read Mother Nature

The online world is, of course, full of crap that sometimes seems destined to drown out real information. "Natural News" may be the worst of the worst: nothing in it is news and very little is nature, unless you count human nature (grasping for money).  From a source I'm always happy to recommend, Sharon Hill's' DoubtfulNews, comes another example - not as bad as Natural News, but concerning.  Sharon writes, "Mother Nature Network (MNN) a site that takes real science stories and rewrites them, getting them wrong in the process." Case in point: no, there is no river of molten iron flowing from Russia to Canada that's about to flip the Earth's poles. There's a really interesting science story buried in here, related to a real paper about magnetic anatomies indicating real movements of Earth's not-so-solid innards, but Ms. Hill, a geologist, notes this is part of a trend of simplifying and torqueing science into clickbait. 

When I have time to try to catch up on science online, I usually read the breezy LiveScience and the more technical Science Daily and the BBC for a broad range of headlines and stories, Scientific American, the New York Times, Nat Geo, and Smithsonian for depth, and, and a handful of others. There are many more good sites, but there are an increasing number of bad ones: do your research and pick the ones in your area of interest that you can consistently trust!  

No comments: