Science Wins Big As BBC Decides To Stop Giving Equal Air Time To Science Deniers

scienceScience is all about facts, and when an overwhelming majority of scientists reach consensus their conclusion should be respected and adhered to. But there is a group of people in this nation who seek to replace scientific fact with stupidity and they want equal air time to brainwash others into their anti-science fervor.

Thus far, America has had to put up with ignorant people who oppose vaccines, evolution, climate change, and basic anatomy and biology. Their opinions are not based on scientific evidence, but their opinions. Of course, most of this is largely confined to the conservative wing of the Republican Party and they most often push their views on Fox News. The anti-science crowd gets this opportunity to speak because the media wrongly believes in giving equal air time for the sake of balance. The problem is, they’re giving equal time to people who are dead wrong (some are not even experts at all) and represent a threat to education, national security, and the public health. And one of the largest news organizations in the world is doing something about it.

The BBC Trust, which broadcasts news around the globe, has released a report confirming that journalists and staff have been training in an effort to keep anti-science kooks on the fringe instead of giving them the spotlight with which to misinform the public.

According to The Telegraph, the report says:

“The Trust wishes to emphasise the importance of attempting to establish where the weight of scientific agreement may be found and make that clear to audiences. Science coverage does not simply lie in reflecting a wide range of views but depends on the varying degree of prominence such views should be given.”

This news should be celebrated as a victory for science, since scientific consensus will now be given far more weight in the media than those who want to mislead everyone with anti-science views that are based on religious dogma or pseudo-science.

Unfortunately, the BBC decision doesn’t affect many US networks, especially Fox News. That means the American people will continue to be bombarded with misinformation that is unsupported by the scientific community. Such misinformation is already harming the general population as the anti-vaccination movement has led to outbreaks of diseases that had largely been wiped out in this country. Conservative Christians are currently crusading to ban evolution in science classes or are demanding that creationism receive equal time in school, even though creationism has absolutely no scientific evidence backing it up. Teaching religious views in science class only hurts our education system and our science scores in comparison to other countries. Then there are those who deny climate change science which has delayed action to the point where it may be too late to prevent the consequences.

Science has room for alternate hypotheses, but when a majority of scientists agree on something, it should be taken seriously by the media. They shouldn’t race to interview a non-expert or someone whose views are rejected by the majority of scientific experts. And they certainly shouldn’t get equal time. Just because the media talks to an expert about the scientific fact that the Earth revolves around the sun, doesn’t mean they should give equal time to a person who thinks the opposite is true. As long as we keep allowing science deniers a place at the table, their stupidity threatens us all. Thankfully, BBC is keeping this stupidity away from the table. Let’s hope US media networks do the same before it’s too late.