TTHHEE SSEENNSSAATTIIOONNAALLIISSMM IINN SSCCIIEENNCCEE TTHHEE RROOLLEE OOFF EEXXPPEERRTTS

TTHHEE SSEENNSSAATTIIOONNAALLIISSMM IINN SSCCIIEENNCCEE TTHHEE RROOLLEE OOFF EEXXPPEERRTTS

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Nómadas. Revista Crítica de Ciencias Sociales y Jurídicas | 28 (2010.4) © EMUI Euro-Mediterranean University Institute | Universidad Complutense de Madrid | ISSN 1578-6730 Publicación asociada a la Revista Nomads. Mediterranean Perspectives | ISSN 1889-7231 THE SENSATIONALISM IN SCIENCE: THE ROLE OF EXPERTS AS PROMOTERS OF FEAR Maximiliano Korstansje Universidad de Palermo, Argentina Over more than 20 years, academicians have concerned by respecting to the pervasive role played by journalism in context of disasters. After all, the uncertainness and poor information that characterize these types of events needs for specialists who can mitigate the negative effects of ignorance. Scholars in last decades have been more critical of the role played by journalism in context of emergencies (Klapper, 1963) (Wenger and Friedman, 1986) (Quarantelli, 1982) (Tierney, 1994) (Quarantelli, 1990) (Dahlhamer and Nigg, 1994) (Paul et al, 2003) (Beck, 2006) (Mileti, 1999) (Nigg, 1995) (Rodriguez, Diaz and Aguirre, 2004). However, one of the points that are beyond debate in this case seems to be the sensationalism role played by experts in biology or health communication in regards to the potential outbreaks virus. In this review, we will explore the connections, far-reaching implications and limitations of the paper entitled Challenges for Bangladesh to Conquer Avian Influenza recently published in the prestigious journal International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing by Haider, Ahamed and Leslie. Our main thesis is that experts trigger unwittingly the panic not only in the populace that always are not familiar with these sorts of publications, but also in journalism which disseminates and echoes deep-seated emotional news. It is important not to loose the sight of the fact this paper does not represent the scientific community at all, but a whole majority who still insists in the probabilities of an apocalyptic mortal virus outbreak is not impossible. Basically, Haider Ahamed and Leslie go on to admit that “ historically, influenza pandemics happen about once every 10-50 years, with the last major pandemic occurring approximately 40 years ago. In the twentieth century alone, there have been three major influenza pandemics: the Spanish flu of 1918 which killed approximately 40 million people; the Asian flu of 1958 which took about 2
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Nómadas. Revista Crítica de Ciencias Sociales y Jurídicas | 28 (2010.4) © EMUI Euro-Mediterranean University Institute | Universidad Complutense de Madrid | ISSN 1578-6730 Publicación asociada a la Revista Nomads. Mediterranean Perspectives | ISSN 1889-7231 million lives; and the Hong Kong flu in 1968 which caused approximately 1 million deaths” (Haider, Ahamed and Leslie, 2008: 274) . The main source of infection of this new kind of virus seems to be the birds
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This note was uploaded on 07/21/2011 for the course BUS 10001 taught by Professor All during the Spring '11 term at Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology.

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TTHHEE SSEENNSSAATTIIOONNAALLIISSMM IINN SSCCIIEENNCCEE TTHHEE RROOLLEE OOFF EEXXPPEERRTTS

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