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The trouble with science journalists is that they are expected to be cheer leaders rather than informed critics

By Olivia Judson   October 1998

One morning, as I walked to work through St James’s Park, marvelling at the strange duck with the lurid blue beak which sometimes cavorts on the lake, I had one of those moments of ghastly clarity. I suddenly knew what it was that had been vaguely bothering me about my job as a science journalist.

There were lots of little things that I already knew about. For example, the fact that on becoming a journalist some former scientist colleagues scuttled away whenever they saw me-which was offensive not so much because of what it revealed of their estimation of me…

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