SIRC Media Watch Archive
Comment and Opinion – March 2000

False Expectations. The hyping of 'miracle cures' and 'medical breakthroughs' in the media is increasingly common, and quite disturbing. This cynical raising of false hopes among some of the most distressed people in our society is something which SIRC is seeking to address in its Code of Practice on Science and Health Communication. In this context the article in the Sunday Times Microchip allows paralysed man to walk again is an illustration of precisely why such a Code is required.

Lords confirm need for SIRC / RI Code. SIRC's concern for more accurate and balanced reporting of science and health issues has been echoed by the Lords Science and Technology Committee. The committee's chairman, Lord Jenkin, notes the need for a "real two-way dialogue between the scientists and the public" and argues that there should be more rigorous guidelines for science journalists because "many scientists feel that they do it badly." More …

Sperm count fall blamed on salt is the headline on the BBC's web site and elsewhere. They report a study conducted in Michigan which found that rats starved of iodine grew larger testicles and had increased sperm production. They claim that the alleged fall in sperm rates in the US in the 1960s is due to the introduction of iodine in salt there in 1924. Before you are tempted, however, to forego that bag of salted nuts with your beer in the pub, read on.