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John Oliver is a renowned comedian who has taken down the best in the business with his weekly monologues. This time he seems to have targeted major problems with science communication, explaining why all the studies we come across sound like nothing but nonsense. Take this for example, does coffee actually cure cancer or kill a person? The answer depends on which morning show you watched or which link on Facebook you accessed. This is a problem since people may get mixed messages which would lead to a certain level of distrust.
John went on to state that coffee means to people what God is to the Old Testament. He meant that it can either save or kill people based on the extent to which people trust in the magical powers. Following a few spells of questioning and challenging your mind, you begin to wonder if all of it is just nonsense. It may not be but the truth is that there is a whole lot of things making rounds on the internet which may carry the ‘science’ tag but is actually far from being science. Let us be fair, science deserves more credit than the petty schemes for cheap popularity.
John quite interestingly covers a wide range of science matters which may be advertised as science but they do not deserve that kind of treatment in actuality. It is true that many problems pertain to the fashion in which science gets published and funded but an even more significant issue is the way that these research stories are reported by the media. An example is last year’s story about a study that suggested that champagne could prevent dementia. It is highly unfortunate that these stunts adversely impact science. Enough of the rant, let Oliver take over and explain this in his own words.