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Journalists daily face the scrutiny of editors who go over their work carefully and critically and make or suggest changes. In the world of medical journals, where research outcomes can change the way doctors across the country treat patients, that scrutiny is provided by peers of the researchers — other investigators working in the same or similar fields who may suggest major changes to a submission or recommend that an article not be published. That in turn can have a major impact on whether researchers continue to get funding to run their labs and continue researching and whether they get tenure and promotion at universities and research institutions.
That is a major hurdle for medical and other science researchers today. But from a public perspective, can choices be influenced by researchers or behind-the-scenes firms with a financial stake in seeing the article green-lighted? Most seriously, how frequent is the occurrence of fraud? How common is it for researchers to manipulate their data or Photoshop their slides and other visuals in order to continue gaining funding and acceptance?
Finally, we know that the selection, placement and angle of news stories can have a major effect on public actions and even on public policy. Can medical reporting have this effect on public behavior or even how medicine is practiced?
Dr. William Lanier, editor of the Mayo Proceedings, will discuss this high-pressure process with Professor Emeritus Ed Sylvester, director of the Science & Medical Journalism Program at the Cronkite School. The Mayo Clinic Proceedings is one of the most widely read and highly cited peer-reviewed clinical journals for physicians and medical researchers.
The First Amendment Forum
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
555 N. Central Ave.