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BBC is wrong to ‘balance’ scientific views with atypical or uninformed views

July 6, 2016



Prof Julian Petley has been cited in the Guardian (Roy Greenslade, 'Scientist complains to BBC about being misled over Radio 4 interview'), where he criticised the BBC for its reporting around the referendum, more specifically for ‘balancing’ well-informed and representative views from the scientific/academic communities with views which are often marginal and atypical, but also for failing to reveal on one particular occasion that the views of a speaker who was supposed to provide balance reflected his political affiliations.


This was in relation to a leading scientist, Dame Anne Glover, professor of molecular biology at Aberdeen University, who was interviewed on Radio 4’s Today programme about the threat to research funding caused by Brexit, and who has complained to the BBC about the way her contribution was treated.

Prior to the referendum, Prof Petley  expressed serious concern that reporting by the media on the referendum was populist and xenophobic.

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