SUFB 1186: Is the media driving a wedge between science and the ocean?


Manage episode 297971513 series 167482
By Andrew Lewin. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This episode is a bit of a rant that I have been thinking about for a while. Over the past few months, I've noticed that media companies (video, audio, and written forms) have been putting out content that either ignores science or drives a wedge between science and the public.

The film Seaspiracy told the audience and non-profit organizations that worked to conserve the ocean were actually working to support overfishing. Obviously a false statement; however, much of the audience still quote the movie four months later.

The New York Times published an article, where the author conducted their own "study" to determine whether Subway (the sandwich company) used real tuna in their tuna sandwiches. The study was not scientific and the results were inconclusive (stated in the article); however, the headline read "Subway does not use real tuna in their sandwiches."

Discovery is releasing a new program during Shark Week this summer (2021): a reality show that is searching for the next shark expert. An expert can be defined in many ways, but this "expert" search is not based on the scientific knowledge each contestant has. It is based on whether or not they can swim with sharks without getting bitten. Now, there are shark diving experts who are amazing and advocate for sharks, but many of them are thought to be scientists who conduct experiments, which can lead to misinformation.

Finally, during the 2021 Shark Week, there was an episode that aired with the people for the Jackass franchise. During the show, one of the members were doing a stunt into a body of water where sharks had aggregated. The man fell and got bitten. The rest of the episode was about how traumatized the man was for being bitten; even though, the stunt was not necessary and led to him being bitten.

Many media companies are sacrificing science for clicks and views while misleading their audience. I am very concerned as to where Science Communication is directed on large platforms.

Check out all of our episodes on

Want To Talk Oceans? Join the Speak Up For Blue Facebook Group:

Speak Up For Blue Instagram:

Speak Up For Blue Twitter:

1217 episodes