Science, not Sensationalism
Claims that the “Great Garbage Patch” between California and Japan is twice the size of Texas is “grossly exaggerated” said the research which reckons it is more like one per cent the size….Oregon State University professor of oceanography Angelicque White…said: “There is no doubt that the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans is troubling, but this kind of exaggeration undermines the credibility of scientists.
“We have data that allow us to make reasonable estimates. We don’t need the hyperbole.
I think most scientists believe this. But “just the facts” don’t play as well in today’s media, so we get sensationalized reports on “the latest study” about something that overturns the previously over-hyped findings (think of caffeine/coffee, for instance). Or worse, we learn of fraudulent studies–the Lancet‘s MMR/Autism piece–that do damage to the reputation of science in general. Basically, good scientists take a less hyperbolic, one could even say an–ahem–more conservative, approach.