confusion: it’s what’s good for you!

A nifty editorial on science journalism from the Columbia Journalism review:

My theory is that editors of newspapers and other major periodicals are not just ordinary folk. They tend to be very accomplished people. They’re used to being the smartest guys in the room. So science makes them squirm. And because they can’t bear to feel dumb, science coverage suffers.

This nicely demonstrates the tension of a scientific approach: on the one hand to have a fierce desire to Find Out Why and interrogate the world, and on the other hand to be okay with uncertainty and confusion.

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