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The ethics of news / the credibility of science and the role of those who teach

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We live in a world where the reality and importance of scientific investigations and responsible journalism are being questioned with incredible frequency with potentially disastrous consequences. Speaking of science, he urged strict adherence to facts and, at the same time, avoidance of incorrect statements by referring to the most relevant evidence. Without vigorously following these tips, we risk living in a world where many things don’t work the way we want them to.

In this respect, proper scientific disclosure seems essential to the perception that the world ought to be for science. Piero Angela, as a great journalist, not only understood how important science is and how much the age of scientific progress is for us, but also realized how necessary it is to spread the meaning of the scientific method. We must start from the assumption that science never suggests absolute facts, but that what it does suggest is always more true than any alternative statement, as the result of a rigorous process in which the reproduction of data is controlled, comparison in the context of the scientific community, and above all, a strict respect for truth, They allow continuous validation and continuous progress.

Spreading science means trying to explain all this, make people understand, give certainty, and eliminate fears. But it also means providing the right information and providing the scientifically irreplaceable elements of real scientific progress. Certainly the scientific culture in our country has grown a lot in recent years, and this is thanks to the work of Piero and those like him, committed to constantly spreading the progress day by day, using the scientific method, achieved in laboratories. In research centers, in operating rooms, in hospital wards , in astronomical observatories and everywhere where someone rigorously seeks to develop knowledge. But the concern for rigor must always be high and it is the responsibility of those in the role of publisher to ensure that this accuracy is never subject to self-interest.

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We are fortunate in Italy to have radio and television programs, as well as good journalists and excellent newspapers, who have fully embraced the principle of scientific rigor and “sticking to the facts”, which has led to an increase in the country’s scientific culture providing the population with useful information in the search for a cure or in understanding the mechanisms underlying disease or correct treatment. For this serious and reliable revelation, many people should confidently face a treatment or course of treatment, which may have saved their lives. How important all this is is emphasized and welcomed by enjoying these following programmes. Sometimes even some general entertainment tackles scientific issues, sometimes it’s less rigorous than might be necessary, and sometimes it indulges, involuntarily, with starring and thrills that aren’t always based on entirely honest elements. Unfortunately, even on the part of many clinicians, scientific disclosure is not always correctly given. The complexity of treatment is often reduced, which raises unrealistic expectations in patients; Hence a long series of legal objections in the face of findings that do not always correspond to what has been reported, but which can nonetheless be explained with the complexity of medicine. or treatments are proposed without reference to the risks which may be behind them, or even more serious, a medical or surgical service is offered for the purpose of incorrect personal promotion, and shown as innovative, without respect for those in hospitals throughout Italy, he was practicing this service For a while, perhaps more seriously and with more respect for the facts.

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Description of Richard B. Feynman, the 65th Nobel Prize winner for Physics, called the flag “the greatest adventure of our time.”
But for science to be credible, it must be respected, avoiding personalizing it in the absence of reason, or making it amazing, but presenting it with such precision as the scientific method demands. Because news, to be justified, must have positive consequences, otherwise trust in the foundations on which health policies must be based is eroded and trust in institutions, such as hospitals, which were born to be the guarantors of the correct verification and dissemination of facts based on indisputable scientific findings. Without a strong commitment to this sense, we risk living in a world in which the perception of scientific facts is increasingly weakened, with severe consequences for the health of individuals. It is necessary to give an objective and balanced view of the facts, avoiding the information remaining in the balance between truth and lies.

The final consideration I want to make relates to the strong value of solidarity and the social responsibility of scholarly publishing. Let us remember one key thing, which is the foundation of any medical credit relationship: the patient wants to be treated in the best possible way and wants to give their trust to a doctor who treats them according to lines drawn by scientific consensus and on the basis of personal, reliable and robust medical expertise.

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