Huge fail for The Conversation
Does direct instruction only work for 20% of students?
The Conversation is an online magazine that aims at a better standard of journalism. Partnering with a variety of academic institutions, the first two items in its charter state:
Inform public debate with knowledge-based journalism that is responsible, ethical and supported by evidence.
Unlock the knowledge of researchers and academics to provide the public with clarity and insight into society’s biggest problems.
The Conversation is a good idea. Why not take ask academics to write about their research in an accessible way? After all, the public fund much of this research so instead of it languishing behind the paywalls of academic journals, why not write succinct, plain English, easily digested summaries suited to a wider audience?
I am a believer in this mission and I have written for The Conversation myself. I have also argued a lot in the comments on pieces that I thought were not well supported by the research. And I grew concerned when the editors moved to shut down climate change deniers. Although I accept the scientific consensus on climate change, I am also an advocate of free speech.
However, in all my years of reading and critiquing articles in The Conversation, I have never seen a mistake as big as the one I am about to describe.
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