Science journalism: the tyranny of evidence? Taster

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In this provocative taster, filmed at the Battle of Ideas festival, author and GP, Dr Michael Fitzpatrick explains that the problem for science journalism is a culture that now expects science to act as 'the last man standing’ to legitimate public policy. Policymakers avoid standing up for ideas and look to science to justify everything and journalists, we learn, have been lapping it up. The tyranny of evidence he suggests is helping to undermine moral and political contestation and to cultivate a censorious attitude across science and society. Science, patients and public life are harmed he points out, by the scientists who dodged the debate on MMR with Andrew Wakefield and the lily-livered campaigns to take the ‘scurrilous and rubbish’ magazine, What Doctors Don’t Tell You, off supermarket shelves.