Sense about Science ? equipping people to make sense of science and evidence
VoYS writes to CBBC Newsround
VoYS members who are early career plant scientists wrote a letter to CBBC Newsround asking to remove content on Genetically Modified organisms because it does not accurately present the technology or arguments around GM. In the letter, the scientists even offered to provide access to expertise for new, evidence-based content for Newsround.
Jaleh Bahri-Esfahani posting the letter on 19th July 2013.
The VoYS members got in touch with Newsround because they feel strongly that it is important for CBBC and Newsround to remain a reliable source of information for young people.
On 16th August 2013, the Editor of CBBC Newsround replied by email to say that the pages would be taken down, which happened immediately.
Matt Audley, one of the signatories, blogged about the project:
"Some weeks ago I was contacted by Voice of Young Science (VoYS) looking for help from early career scientists to contact CBBC Newsround about their webpages on GM foods. At first I had presumed the pages perhaps contained a minor scientific inaccuracy or some subtle false balance. However, I was quite astounded to find the CBBC website hosting some out-dated and inaccurate information on GM crops which seemed to have a strong negative bias against the technology. I decided straight away to take part in contacting BBC about getting these pages taken down..." Read more.
Well done to the early career researchers who are working at plant science institutes across the UK:
Matt Audley, Plant molecular biologist
Jaleh Bahri-Esfahani, Plant-fungal interaction biologist
Daniel Knevitt, Plant molecular biologist
Emily Lishak, Plant molecular biologist
Carla Turner, Plant molecular biologist
The CBBC Newsround webpage on GM food:
Top tip 1: Ask for Evidence. If you’re being sold a product or asked to believe a claim then you deserve to know whether it’s based on evidence – or imagination.
Top tip 2: Detox. It’s a marketing myth – our body does it without pricey potions and detox diets.
Top tip 3: Superfood. There is no such thing, just foods that are high in some nutrients.
Top tip 4: Cleansing. You shouldn’t be trying to cleanse anything other than your skin or hair.
Top tip 5: If it sounds too good to be true… it probably is.