Once again the standard of thought & discussion in the last meeting was very high. Well done to do those that attended or couldn’t attend but still posted on either the year-12 or year-13 blog. The focus of our next meeting is to take on board the views represented by Sumner at al that were discussed last time and apply them to the following piece of research work.
It seems fairly common sense that the more sugar you consume the greater the risk of diabetes is. It’s not really newsworthy and it should be straightforward to prove this. If you get your results published in the British Medical Journal then that should be that.
First of all I would like you to read the press release that accompanied the publication of a scientific paper. The purpose of a press release is to alert journalists to a potentially newsworthy piece of research. The thing to remember about the majority of journalists is that they are wannabe Scientists (Arts graduates) who will not read the original paper but just want to be told the facts and a bit of relevance so they can cut & paste their own story.
Here is the press release.
You are journalist who has just received this press release (from the BMJ) and have no intention of reading the paper. What would your headline be? If you’ve been taking the ‘healthy’ option of diet drinks and fruit juice, should you be concerned? Is this a better angle for your story?
Now read the actual article published in the BMJ (the source of the article we looked at last time that told us how unhelpful / inaccurate scientific reporting and press releases could be)
What is the purpose of this research?
Who conducted it? Do you trust them?
What is the main conclusion and is it justified?
What about the claims regarding artificially sweetened drinks and fruit juices?
Does the press release accurately reflect the paper? Give examples.
Finally, follow this link to the BMJ site containing this article and read the comments section.
Is everyone happy with this research? Who do you agree with? Could there be bias in these comments?
Remember that this is just to aid discussion and frame your thoughts. You can follow all, some or none of this list. The point of this is to stimulate thought and share ideas so PLEASE POST YOUR THOUGHTS BELOW prior to our next Journal Club meeting.