Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lab lesson of the Day: Dont talk to the media

They (an AP article) just 'paraphrased' my boss and his collaborator as saying:

  • We're going to have an HIV vaccine, ready to go, in 4 years (not 'we' the scientific community as a whole, 'we' as in our labs)
  • Natural Killer cells make antibodies
  • We didnt understand the immune system until 5 years ago
To paraphrase them again, "dumbing down something thats dumbed down gives you something thats just wrong."

And who loves it when that happens? Creationists, Deniers, the Usual Suspects.

This is why I love science blogs-- its like a conversation. If I dont simplify a topic well enough, you can ask for more help understanding a topic. If you think a post is cool, you can ask for more details. If I say something that is flat out wrong (Natural Killer cells generate antibodies!) you can say "Whoa whoa ERV! Think youve got a typo, there! Or youre on crack."

Ugh, well, I better go back to work. I gotta solve the problem of HIV vaccines in 4 years :P Go read Taras posts on scientists communicating with journalists.


Tyler DiPietro said...

We're already pretty sure you're on crack. I typically attribute typos to withdrawl and drowsiness, really.

ERV said...

ROFL! Ahh if my excuse for typos was as simple as crack withdrawal!

Keith Sader said...

Wait, what if I read your post while I'm on crack?

VWXYNot? said...

I just got my copy of this book, and the first couple of chapters are excellent! I'll try and read the rest this week before the new Harry Potter comes out and all other thoughts disappear from my mind. It seems like your PI might want a copy! (of the UCS book, not Harry Potter, although he might want a copy of that too).