We have been studying the ways that science is reported in mainstream publications such as newspaper or other general readership media. We have also spent this week talking a bit about molecular theory and the history of drug synthesis in healthcare. Please read the article below, which was published in the New York Times in December 1971, and write a post on our ePortfolios site that reacts to the article based on what we’ve done in class so far this semester. Think especially about the three science senses (Knowledge Sense, Data Sense, Number Sense).

Download (PDF, 769KB)

Citation: Galton, Lawrence. 1971. “The New Mysters—Maybe Miracle—Drug.” New York Times (December 5).

Your reaction post should engage with at least one specific part of this article, but can also comment on it more broadly. Some possible things to consider are:

  • writing style of the author
  • amount and level of technicality of scientific information
  • why the author included molecular drawings and whether they are important to the article
  • who the intended audience is
  • how well does the article reflect the science it’s based on (this will require you to find the primary literature journal articles that are mentioned in the article)
  • whether this kind of article would work in a publication like the Times today

Do not summarize the article or explain its contents, and do not answer all of the above prompts, rather, these are just intended to get you thinking and offer some possible routes. We are more interested in a post that shows critical engagement about some aspect of this article and scientific thinking, rather than one that touches on many different points but in a superficial way. You can also experiment with different kinds of writing — for example, imagine you are writing a letter to the editor of the Times in response to this article. You do not need to cite the article, but if you would like to quote something from it, just use quotation marks.

Due by Sunday night, 8pm.

TO SUBMIT: Create a new post with the category “Blog Entry 1.” If you do not use this category, then we will not be able to read your entry.