We recently read on BadScience about the Dore miracle cure for dyslexia, a £2000 treatment which has been associated with NASA space technology (denied) and a research study that ended with the resignation of five members of the editorial board of the journal Dyslexia. Additionally both academics who have spoken out against the treatment and patients who merely said it didn’t work for them have been threatened with libel action.
However, the rights and wrongs of this situation are not the point of this blog posting, but rather the way in which traditional media have blindly supported the cure as a miracle treatment whilst ignoring any evidence to the contrary. The blogging community on the other hand have covered the other side of the coin and analysed the situation using science over ratings.
Proper representation of scientific fact is one of the challenges we often find ourselves faced with in public affairs. Blogs and social media may be the answer to having our clients messages communicated, objectively and supported by factual evidence over sensationalisation.
Despite the amateur nature and lack of control on blog reporting, the blogosphere often proves to be more reliable in many ways. Blog authors have no higher authority telling them what (or what not) to write and many of them have the insight which no journalist could have – some of the bloggers who revealed the Dore case were not only Phd researchers but also had personal experience with dyslexia and autism. Put in contrast, the mainstream media may be trained journalists, but often have no scientific background, and work towards viewing and sales figures.
Hats off to Ben Goldacre of BadScience for highlighting this victory of the blogosphere, and to the science bloggers out there pursuing the truth, based on hard science.