Movie Grosses and Nobel Prizes

In Edward Jay Epstein’s new piece Gross Misunderstanding, in the Columbia Journalism Review, he writes

By focusing on the box-office race that is spoon-fed to them each week, journalists may entertain their audiences, but they are missing the real story.

Something similar happens with the Nobel Prizes. Journalists print what they are told — Scientists X and Y did beautiful “pure science” about this or that — and thereby miss the real story. In the case of Nobel Prizes in Medicine, the real story is the long-running lack of progress on major diseases (cancer, heart disease, depression, etc.).

2 Replies to “Movie Grosses and Nobel Prizes”

  1. There is also a national bias against certain diseases that don’t match the liberal media agenda.

    We have just gone through a month-long propaganda campaign to eliminate breast cancer.

    I support all efforts to find a cure for breast cancer…but where the heck is the strong effort to find a cure or even a good palliative for osteo-arthritis?
    I’ll wager more people suffer from the latter than the former!

    Seth: Yes, why isn’t it “find a way to prevent” breast cancer rather than “find a cure”? A “search for a cure” helps mainstream medicine. Prevention research, the opposite: fewer people sick, less profit. Yet women obviously benefit much more from prevention research.

  2. Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

    This is always my response when people start asking ridiculous hypothetical questions of morality too (“would you kill the old woman or save the 6 infants from the train car?”). Life is more complicated than black & white dichotomies. What can we do NOW to prevent the old woman & 6 infants situation from occurring at all?

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