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Social Influences on Science

Mass media

The role of the mass media – newspapers, journals, film, TV and the internet - in providing information, setting the agenda for the public’s reactions to scientific discoveries and influencing opinion on issues involving science and technology is controversial.

See what the The Sun had to say about Britain’s mobile phone masts and “Cancer St” scare.

Try it for yourself

You need a group of four, split into two pairs. One pair writes headlines (aim for less than 50 characters) in favour of the research described in the following newspaper article from 2007 and the other writes headlines against it. After 10 minutes stop, share what you have written and vote for the best headline.

What sells newspapers – headlines or content?

Design a headline to go here

warm earth The world's leading climate change experts will this week outline highly controversial plans to save the world from global warming. Their proposals - which include a major expansion in nuclear power, the use of GM crops to boost biofuel production, and reliance on unproven technologies, including the underground storage of carbon dioxide - will put the UN's climate group on a collision course with a host of environmental groups.

 Experimenter Effect

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