We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fakethrough! GMOs and the Capitulation of Science Journalism

Click here to access article by Jonathan Latham from Independent Science News

"Fakethrough" as explained in the article is the fake reporting of a "breakthrough" which we have been seeing widely reported in mainstream media about some latest research in biotechnology. Clearly corporate dominance in journalism, as in all areas of our society, has corrupted the reporting of biotechnology news. 
The marketing of fakethroughs is an important component of a general manipulation of the science media. But interference with the media is in turn only a part of the barely understood but vast web of influence by which the biotech industry meticulously orchestrates the perception of itself (and its products).

What is new today, and which wasn’t the case thirty years ago, is that individual industrial sectors such as the life science industry are nowadays sufficiently profitable, monopolistic, and global that they can and do coordinate, to the mutual benefit of their larger members, the flow of information that spans three distinct but interconnected domains of thought: the public domain (TV, radio, print), the scientific domain (peer-reviewed publications), and the policy domain (government reports and bureaucratic discussions). 
See also this piece posted today entitled "Pharmaceutical firms accused of falsifying data in major Alzheimer’s study" which is on a related theme of corporate practices to deceive the public--although in this case it was not done via media journalists, but directly by corporations.