Date Written: 05/12/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20217
Journalists share responsibility for the increasing commercialization of scientific research.
Major efforts to bring science to the American public were launched in the early twentieth century. The mission of the news agency Science Service, which was founded in 1921, was to get science coverage into mainstream media and to create, as historian Cynthia Bennet has put it, "a constituency who would value, demand, and protect science research." These efforts were partly about funding, but were also framed as being about creating an informed, science-savvy citizenry who could meaningfully participate in American democracy. Wells's call had indeed been taken up: science became part of the news cycle, where it remains today. But even from the start, the values touted by the free press were all but absent in science reporting.