6 thoughts on “Is TV the Best Form of Science Communication? A Look at ‘Drugs Live’

  1. ‘ I can’t understand how this can be published in a journal when the topic has been funded by a body that has a personal interest in the outcome’

    Maybe i’m misunderstanding, but what about work funded by charities? e,g, British Heart Foundation.

    • Hi roym,

      You are right, I didn’t make this clear. I neglected to say that I find this odd if it is in their own interest and for their own commercial benefit. This would not apply in a charities place. I hope this clarifies!

  2. Hi Jane,

    I can’t comment on the tv show as I haven’t seen it, but on the same point as roym above – most clinical research on new drugs is pharmaceutical industry-sponsored. This can indeed lead to poor quality research getting published, overstatement of positive results, holding back of negative results, intentionally bad trial designs, etc. But because industry-sponsored research is so prevalent, it also includes much good research. Sponsorship certainly doesn’t preclude publication, instead journals insist that authors declare who sponsored the study, what role the sponsors had, and any personal conflicts of interests of the individual authors.

    (Which is not to defend the status quo in general, is just FYI).

    • Hi Neil,

      Thanks for the comment. In thinking back to my comment and thoughts on the matter, I still see anything funded by an organisation with a personal benefit in the results (for commercial benefit) is a little awry, but as you mention what is important is the science and whether the study itself is good or not regardless of who sponsored it.

      I will however always be slightly marred in my opinion of a study that claims (for example) that watching fims helps you lose wight that was sponsored by Blockbusters. (I think there actually was a study like this). It is also often the case that people who read these studies will not bother or have the skills to decide whether this is a piece of good science or not. Also, it is unlikely that a company such as Blockbuster would fund a piece of research that shows that watching films is bad for you. I can’t comment on whether pharma companies might do this.

      If presented with studies on the same topic by a research council, pharma company and TV channel my trust in the objectivity and most honest reporting of the results would go from most in the research council to least in the TV channel and feel that respected journals would ideally take this into account as well.

  3. Pingback: (Two) Weekly Round-Up | scicommnetwork

  4. Pingback: Is TV the Best Form of Science Communication? A Look at ‘Drugs Live’ | Science Communication Blog Network

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