he after-hours discussions at SciO12 yielded a surprisingly heated meme that persisted for weeks: Press Officers Are Sending Stuff Out Without Scientists' Knowledge! Shock and alarm ensued. Responses from press officers, scientists and writers ranged from skepticism to confirmation. Both claims can't be right, can they?
How many press releases are unreviewed by scientists?
Did nobody look at it, or was it just you who was left out? (Are you a grad student?)
What do scientists really mean by "inaccurate" in a press release?
What do scientists really mean by "didn't vet" a press release?
What would be the harm of un-reviewed stories being released?
Where does "churnalism" come from? Can we trust it?
Who does the PIO work for, really?
Who are the PIOs? How are they trained? What are the rules?
Bonus question -- Who are the bigger jerks: scientists who won't speak plainly, journalists who believe they're prophets of Truth, or press officers who don't understand the stories they're selling?