From websites and newspapers to Internet searches, the evening news, and popular magazines, “Citizen Scientists,” often receive and have to decipher scientific information directly from the media. But sometimes it’s a confusing process. How can you, as a “Citizen Scientist,” determine whether information about science is reliable and, more importantly, what it means in the context of your life and personal decision-making processes? Like many research organizations, the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) sends press or news releases about scientific discoveries to reputable publications, radio, and television media that you may eventually read, hear, or see through a story written by a reporter. How can you get more information and how can you check the story for accuracy?

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Determine whether or not information about science is reliable.
  • Describe the kinds of questions they should ask to discover the accuracy of science news articles.


  • Standard B: Science as inquiry

  • Asking questions and defining problems

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