Saturday, September 22, 2007

Press Release: Backseat University Scientists Determine Method to Remove All Exaggerations in University Press Releases



Today, a B.D. University political scientist announced that he has determined a new method to remove all exaggerations in scientific press releases. Brian Schmidt said, "It's been clear for decades that press releases sent out by universities announcing new discoveries published in the academic journals will often make claims that go far beyond what was accepted by the peer-reviewed journals. The problem is not that the discoveries have no value, but rather that the press releases grossly exaggerate the value, often by eliminating any qualifiers forced into the article by editors and reviewers."

"Clearly, none of this exaggeration is due to the scientists themselves making statements in the press releases that failed to pass peer review, so there is no need to address that 'problem.' Instead, 100 percent of the exaggeration problem can be laid at the feet of overzealous university press offices and public relations officials."

"My solution is simple - the major universities must jointly create an independent nonprofit organization through which the universities release announcements about new scientific advances. The universities keep their PR departments for everything else, and they can even issue their own releases on any scientific subject, but meanwhile the objective organization has also issued a press release without the bias of the universities' PR people."

"With time, this organization's releases will gain credibility in the media because its PR people are objective. It could even ultimately become an academically-oriented news service."

"This method, I'm sure, will entirely solve the issue of someone going beyond a merely useful announcement of a means to partially reduce a problem, and instead claiming a comprehensive solution."

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