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Science News Seal of Approval

Trademark protected seal of quality for popular science articles.
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Today I saw a link to a "news" website, the headline for which was "Climotologists (sic) declare start of 30 year cooling period." Between global warming denialists, anti vaccination lunatics, and whoever is opposed to fluoridation, I've had it. Had it I tell you! What I think society needs is a nonpartisan public institution to vet claims about science with a particular focus on issues affecting human interests directly. I envision some conglomeration of leading peer reviewed journals, notable universities and perhaps specific individuals like Nobel prize winners. This institution would possess the trademark to a recognizable seal of approval that would indicate to an otherwise underinformed reader that the claims and conclusions made in an article were supported by the overwhelming majority of qualified experts on the subject. Authors could submit an article for review without fee, and upon receiving approval would be permitted to include the seal on their website, newspaper or what have you. A public awareness campaign would be launched to increase familiarity with the institution and their seal, and thus the reader would know that articles bearing the seal were likely to be correct. This won't keep fools from spouting their foolishness, but if successful one can always hope that people would be skeptical of information sources lacking the seal. Violators of the seal's trademark will be prosecuted under the DMCA, which is surely cruel and unusual, but sacrifices must be made. (Upon revocation of the DMCA, some other horrible punishment must be devised. After much rejoicing of course.)
Madcat, Nov 19 2014

Hoover, the talking seal, also the only seal raised by Swallows.... http://www.neaq.org..._exhibit/hoover.php
[not_morrison_rm, Nov 19 2014]

seals are having sex with penguins and eating them afterwards http://i100.indepen...erwards--ly3jRilyug
absolutely true story [JesusHChrist, Nov 20 2014]

[link]






       You should reclaim your account.   

       //global warming denialists//   

       You see, there's the sort of problem that will crop up. People who question anthropogenic global warming are, in some cases, bona fide climatologists. The phrase "global warming denialists" (or the more common "deniers") was intentionally modelled on the phrase "holocaust denier" in order to make skeptics look like insane or barbaric people.   

       So, even in a reasoned proposal to police "scientific" claims in the popular press, a very un-scientific phrase appears.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 19 2014
  

       The mention of Nobel Prize winners and qualified experts brings to mind a list of bad guys and light weights who, through political correctness/ connectedness have been given that honor and their inclusion would greatly diminish the status of the proposed seal. If you could disinclude those guys it might mean more. Better to say "Supported by more Moms than any other."
cudgel, Nov 19 2014
  

       //a recognizable seal of approval   

       The fairly serious problem, and forgive me if I speak bluntly and non-pc... The problem is, they all look the same.   

       So, it might be better to get a seal with some unique-ish talent, like Salty, which could apparently mimic a few words. The same problem arises with phocoenidae, but they are more fit for the porpoise.   

       I'm not eve going to mention them squabbling over who really killed Bin Laden.
not_morrison_rm, Nov 19 2014
  

       I volunteer with that aquarium. What are the odds of that?
Madcat, Nov 19 2014
  

       Max, and I'm not sure if this is respect or not, but with all due respect, yours is the only nominally-credible voice I've heard coming from that camp of otherwise backwards, conspiracy-minded, pyramid-worshipping, tinfoil hat-wearing Blaze-readers. It's not favorable company you keep. Even Sturton doesn't go near them anymore.   

       As for the seal, it had better be done with some kind of high-tech non-counterfeitable technology. Like grandma's meatloaf recipe perhaps...
RayfordSteele, Nov 19 2014
  

       // People who question anthropogenic global warming are, in some cases, bona fide climatologists.//   

       While this is true, the percentage is extremely small, and they do so in ways that are actually working with variations on the existing model that show otherwise.   

       The vast majority of APGW opponents ignore the science and models and simply deny the possibility without regards to the science or the simple fact that the earth is actually warming in contrast to known long term climate cycles. Calling these individuals denialists is not out of keeping with the intent of the term.
MechE, Nov 19 2014
  

       This is a half measure. There's no need for articles at all. Cut out the middleman. The Institute issues decrees and anyone violating them risks running afoul of newly enacted laws aimed to preserve public order. The Institute could even be given the power to run tribunals to prosecute the offenders.
the porpoise, Nov 19 2014
  

       //they all look the same.//   

       Imagine your house is on fire, and your neighbors separating into two groups: one says it's not on fire, and the other says it's your fault.   

       Neither side has the slightest interest in helping to cope with a burning house.   

       The easiest way to identify idiots in this debate is not by which side they're on; it's by the fact that they're in the debate.
lurch, Nov 19 2014
  

       //yours is the only nominally-credible voice I've heard coming from that camp of otherwise backwards, conspiracy-minded, pyramid-worshipping, tinfoil hat-wearing Blaze-readers//   

       I deeply resent its being implied that I'm credible.   

       Howevertheless, I would make two points in reply. (1) There are a fair number of perfectly reasonable and intelligent climatologists (and physicists and others) who question global warming. In general, it is in their own best interests to keep quiet about this, and in general they do. If this leaves only the fruits and nuts on the "no" side, that's a pity. (B) Regardless of the weight of consensus on either side, it is not helpful to label "the other side" with a term that puts them on a par with holocaust deniers.   

       Anyway, we're at risk of launching into a debate on climate change, which will probably get us nowhere.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 19 2014
  

       Oh it'll get us somewhere. That much further along towards heat-death.   

       If it helps, I could be labeled a conspiracy-theorist-denier.
RayfordSteele, Nov 19 2014
  

       I'll be worried about climate change when we burn enough carbon to appreciably change the atmospheric oxygen concentration.
bs0u0155, Nov 19 2014
  

       Commenting on the idea, however, forget the separate panel. Just make it so the scientist or journal quoted in the article can choose to place their seal on the article, indicating it accurately reports what their original did.   

       No "who decides" issue, or possibility of political slant of panel appointees, just "yup, that's what I said", or "nope, not even close".
MechE, Nov 19 2014
  

       // "yup, that's what I said", or "nope, not even close" //   

       Hey that could apply to more than just scientists... What would happen if it became standard practice for journalists to have their articles vetted by the subject of the article before being published?
scad mientist, Nov 19 2014
  

       We would all get our news 36 hours late?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 19 2014
  

       Maybe, but most articles can be read in a couple minutes. If the article is correct, the person can verify it and click okay in under half an hour. Of course if there are errors, it will take time to look into those, but with that kind of feedback, reporters might learn to get it right the first time. Also, if the subject isn't responding fast enough, the news agency can publish anyway, but without the logo.   

       The endorsement would need to indicate that the article is basically correct, not 100% correct. The reviewer isn't expected to double-check every decimal point. Just ensure that the facts weren't completely twisted or misunderstood. Anyone who needs to know the exact details for sure should go to the source.
scad mientist, Nov 19 2014
  

       Maybe there could be some sort of math logo for articles that feature some math but I fear scientists disagree on all other subjects.   

       Truth is not a requirement for good science.
zeno, Nov 19 2014
  

       ^ I did that, more or less, 4th anno down
not_morrison_rm, Nov 19 2014
  

       The drawback here is that nothing is true, particularly this anno.
nineteenthly, Nov 20 2014
  

       There is nothing.
pocmloc, Nov 20 2014
  

       Well, there is something, but quite what it all means is open to interpretation,,,
not_morrison_rm, Nov 20 2014
  

       Like having a Papal (is that a word) stamp of infallibility. Haven't we learned anything from Wikipedia?   

       Nothing is actually certain. Some things are just more likely than others.
theircompetitor, Nov 20 2014
  

       What would be more useful is a service for journalists that allows them to have the script of any story with scientific, technical or engineering content rapidly vetted and edited by a panel of independant and appropriately trained experts who take a nonpartisan approach but ensure that facts and terminology are correct.   

       When the story is printed and/or broadcast, a distinctive "Rigorously scrutinised by non-idiots" logo is permitted to be displayed.   

       The experts do NOT critique the point of view; they just ensure that the terminology is correct.   

       Halfbakers would seem to be uniquely well qualified for this role.
8th of 7, Nov 22 2014
  

       I'm not so sure about that. We couldn't even decide if the goldfish bowl rolls.
RayfordSteele, Nov 22 2014
  

       //Papal (is that a word) stamp of infallibility.   

       Yes, it is, but not a spot on the paypal one.
not_morrison_rm, Nov 22 2014
  
      
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