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Charity launches blog to bust cancer myths

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by Cancer Research UK | News

9 May 2008

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The misinformation and confusion that often hovers around health and science stories will soon be dispelled by top science bloggers at Cancer Research UK.

The Science Update blog is now live after a six month trial run at the charity. It is already full of fascinating posts on subjects like whether mobile phones are linked to cancer, and if hypnosis can help people with the disease. Cancer Research UK hopes it will be a valuable interactive resource for the public, the health community and the media.

The charity’s health and science web manager, Henry Scowcroft, and one of the bloggers, said: “There’s a bewildering amount of media noise about cancer, some of it based on sound science, some of it widely misunderstood. By writing this blog and putting cancer stories in context, we hope to help people separate the good from the bad.

“Blogs are a comparatively new medium of communication, and we’re really looking forward to taking part in the discussions and debates that the sometimes controversial subject of cancer will provoke”.

Scowcroft helped to launch and now runs the charity’s, News & Resources site, putting him in a good position to blog about the media coverage of cancer stories. Following a degree in biochemistry his passion for science communication tempted him away from the lab to work for a science journal. He completed a Masters in science communication before joining Cancer Research UK.

Award winning science writer Ed Yong graduated with a degree in Natural Sciences before working as a scientist for Cancer Research UK. Now a manager in the health information team, he monitors the latest research to ensure that the charity’s information is based on the best scientific evidence. A successful science blogger in his spare time, Yong will be using his expertise to cover stories about health and risk for the Science Update blog.

The third blogger is Dr Kat Arney. She started her career in the laboratory before discovering her talent for science communication and landing a job as a presenter of BBC radio’s Naked Scientist. As senior science information officer at Cancer Research UK, she excels in ‘translating’ science into plain English, and will blog about science and research stories.

All three are excited to be contributing to the debate about the stories behind the headlines, as well as highlighting the stories that slip through the media net. They will provide a clear voice to help make sense of health and information stories.

Dr Ben Goldacre, who writes a regular science column in the Guardian, said: “In a time when so much misleading information about cancer is being spread by commercial cranks and journalists in search of a melodramatic headline, it’s great to see people who really know what they’re talking about, engaging directly, unmediated, with the public.”

Visit Cancer Research UK’s Science update blog.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact the Cancer Research UK press office on 0207 061 8300.