Popular Press Vs. Scientific Article

This web page was produced as an assignment for Genetics 677, an undergraduate course at University of Wisconsin: Madison.

Compare and Contrast

   When considering the comparison of a scientific and popular article,  I guess I would describe it as comparing apples and oranges, they are both different but both are still fruit. Both have the core backbone, as both articles focus on the DCDC2 gene. The popular press article is all about optimism and touts this new gene as the wave of the future. It is going to solve the problem of dyslexia once and for all. It plays more of the society card than the scientific article. As I had stated earlier the popular press article lacks scientific information that could serve to strengthen its social arguments, and is a perfect example of how some popular article need to have a better representation of the scientific side. This can also be seen in the fact that the author talked about having a genetic test for children to see if they have a predisposition to dyslexia by the year 2006. It is already 2008 and an accurate one is still non-existent. The author's lack of demonstrable scientific knowledge hampered the impact she might have made in reporting this important scientific milestone whose ramifications could be far reaching in both the scientific and educational worlds.
     
   The scientific article mentions several other genes that can play a role in dyslexia which leads to the feeling that the DCDC2 gene is more of a stepping stone then an actual solution. The benefit of the the scientific article over the popular article is that one  knows where the information comes from and how the scientific authors came to their conclusions since a person can look at the data and evidence  that was collected  and attempt to interpret for oneself to check the conclusions. However, the downside is if the reader does not know the lingo of the scientific community the article can seem a little overwhelming and difficult to understand. This can leave a person who is not adapted to the vocabulary feeling lost. In addition, the scientific article leaves more questions than answers, unlike the popular press article that likes to report in more definitive terms. 

Megan Holler
mholler@wisc.edu
Last Updated: 2/2/09