Science news doesn't need to confuse the layperson

Science Rumors will let you help

Conjecture, debate, and refining theories over time — based on sometimes confusing or contradictory results — are all important parts of the scientific process. But it can be hard to understand what a paper really means, especially once news reporters try to summarize it and make it exciting. Until now.

  • Look up or enter stories from the news.
  • Rate the story's accuracy.
  • Link to journal abstracts, articles, etc.
  • Rate the quality of the study/experiment.

This project is under active development and not yet available for public use, but check back soon to see our progress!


More about the project

My goals

Over time I've gotten increasingly frustrated with the generally woeful quality of science news and the resulting disconnect between the average citizen and the gestalt of scientific understandanding and progress. Science Rumors is an attempt at changing that.

This site will offer methods to find out what study, if any, a news article on a scientific topic is referring to. Users will be able to collaboratively update each others' knowledge of what a particular study claims or doesn't and how much reliability a layperson might ascribe to it. Proper application of the scientific method, peer review, and public availability of methods and results will all weight ratings heavily.

Tim Howe

Development

If you are interested in tracking the progress of the project you can view the development documentation. You can also see what the app looks like so far, although it's very much in flux and the database is liable to be wiped at any time.

Stay in touch

Follow the project's Twitter feed: @ScienceRumors.

External reading

Once, when the secrets of science were the jealously guarded property of a small priesthood, the common man had no hope of mastering their arcane complexities. Years of study in musty classrooms were prerequisite to obtaining even a dim, incoherent knowledge of science.

Today all that has changed: a dim, incoherent knowledge of science is available to anyone.

— Tom Weller, Science Made Stupid