Friends……we have a big problem when the people who are supposed to be implementing genetics get their information from an unreliable news media. Why are they unreliable? They like everyone else are expected to do more with less…..thus fact checking has become a thing of the past…
Together with Drew Yates, we are creating a community to fact check genetics reporting. It is called HelixGene Foundation……Thursday we will have sent an email to over 1000 genetics professionals inviting them to join our community.
They are so right! When you hear about articles mentioning scientists who just found the gene of obesity or intelligence, physicians tend to trust this kind of information. Now hopefully, they will have a fantastic source to rely on.
The first step is giving more details about the misinformation regarding Sergey Brin’s risk for Parkinson’s disease. I believe that one was a marketing trick, nothing more. Other bloggers seem to agree with me on this:
I found one blog on WordPress.com that I found to hold some validity. The blog was originally posted on http://scienceroll.com/, a medical student’s blogging site to discuss medicine and genetics using Web 2.0 tools.
This blog did not receive an outrageous amount of press attention. There were no books written about it or guest spots for the author on any late night talk shows. However, his well organized, logical posting did expose the Google founder as a man who misinterpreted genetic data to gain media attention for his wife’s cause. If more blogs could be this rational and fact based, blogs may be accepted as a legitimate source of information and more credit could be given to the amateur.