Science journalists’ perceptions and attitudes to pseudoscience in Spain

Sergi Cortiñas-Rovira, Felipe Alonso-Marcos, Carles Pont-Sorribes, Eudald Escribà-Sales

Using interviews and questionnaires, we explored the perceptions and attitudes of 49 Spanish science journalists regarding pseudoscience. Pseudoscience, understood as false knowledge that endeavours to pass as science, is a controversial and complex matter that potentially poses a risk to society. Given that concern over this issue has grown in recent years in Spain, our aim was to evaluate how pseudoscience operates in journalistic practice in Spanish media. Our data reveal not only a lack of editorial policies in regard to pseudoscience, but also the existence of a significant number of science journalists who make light of the potential threat implied by the pseudosciences in the media. Some journalists point to the lack of scientific training of editors and media managers as one of the reasons for the proliferation of the pseudosciences.

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