Why there is gap between Science and Society?

Recently a group in Baltimore have made a mathematical model which support a theory that most of the cancer cases are due to random mutagenesis, or in other terms bad luck. Obviously it’s not bad luck at the meaning we are used to know. What they are saying is that 2/3 parts of the cancers occur randomly in the whole population, without having any predisposition either genetic or environmental.

This is not a surprise for me but seem to be that people love the heading. All began when the Science (journal) blogger Jennifer Couzin-Frankel decided to change this correct and scientifically accurate heading in the original paper …

Variation in cancer risk among tissues can be explained by the number of stem cell divisions

with this popular interpretation some of you would hear about…

The simple math that explains why you may (or may not) get cancer

Is that heading incorrect? Not at all, and I am sure Ms Couzin-Frazel is a expert in science communication meanwhile I am just a biotech student in a some obscure university in Spain.

Nevertheless the heading have surprised the scientific chiefs in all over the world newspapers because is possible to imagine a math method to explain if you are going to have cancer or not? the hook was set and everybody around the world have buy it! Moreover, they just have proposed a very small change that would increase its popularity, the bad luck. Now, people all over the globe are thinking that they don't need to have a healthy life because even if they do they are going to have cancer anyway.

The main picture from the original article in Science. You can see how several types of cancer risk and their bad luck quantification, the stem cell divisions.

My point here is that although scientific press is mandatory in a healthy press system also the gap between actual scientist (real papers and labs) and the media (newspapers, blogs, …) is definitely bigger than it should be!

P.S. Here I post also the link of the actual paper, the first blog post and the CNN post and if you want you can judge by yourself.

Actual Paper in Science: http://bit.ly/1xfNZbq

Blog post also in Science: http://bit.ly/1zCEsrM

CNN post: http://cnn.it/1BwlFkF

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