‘Scientists say’ losing effectiveness, scientists say

For decades, newspaper editors have loved to append ‘, scientists say’ to the headline of any story that they felt could do with a credibility boost. It was code to their readers: you must not argue with this story’s conclusions. The same applied to documentaries on pay TV.

But in a recent piece in the Washington Post, the editors appear to have jumped the shark. Even scientists are now saying that the scientists studying sharks are the wrong sort of scientists.

It’s a toss up as to what is funnier about this piece: that a scientist is getting upset about a science show based on the fact that the scientists were called Mike, or that the WaPo published it.