Miriam Goldstein–chief scientist of SEAPLEX–is leading the voyage to understand the the island of garbage in the North Pacific Gyre to attempt to understand the effects it may have on marine life. She has a new blog post up entitled ‘“Millions, billions, trillions”…of scientific errors in the NYT‘. Yikes! Here’s how it begins:
On Tuesday, the New York Times published an article on the North Pacific Gyre called “Afloat in the Ocean, Expanding Islands of Trash.” Written by Lindsay Hoshaw, it was the culmination of a $10,000 freelance journalism project* in which she visited the gyre with the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. Unfortunately, this NYT article was far below their usual standards. Not only did it not add anything new to the discussion, but it significantly misrepresented the state of the science, presenting broad estimates & conjecture as facts.
I sent a list of corrections to the New York Times, and I am republishing them here as well. They are in the order they appear in the article. Because there are so many, I have kept each explanation brief, but please ask in the comments if you would like elaboration. Thanks to my SIO colleagues Kristen Marhaver and Mike Navarro for their suggestions!
In this remote patch of the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles from any national boundary, the detritus of human life is collecting in a swirling current so large that it defies precise measurement.
The gyre is not a current, but a lack of currents. Please see Pete’s explanation of convergence zones for more detail.
And that’s only the beginning… Go take a look.
Links to this Post
- Which is Better For Science: Inaccurate Media Coverage Or No Coverage At All? | The Intersection | Discover Magazine | November 17, 2009
- ScienceOnline2010 – introducing the participants [A Blog Around The Clock] « Technology Blogs | November 19, 2009
- ScienceOnline2010 – introducing the participants « Science in the Triangle | November 30, 2009