Tuesday, December 20, 2011
This story highlights the fact that scientists are not beyond puffery when it serves their interests. They are human too. The search for the Higgs boson has produced its share of hyperbolic statements and maneuvering for credit. And, calling it the "God Particle" is going overboard, even for flacks. But, scientists, angling for bigger and better machines, will go to extremes like anyone else. The lesson here for PR practitioners is to approach scientific claims with the same skepticism that we would approach anything else. It may be more difficult in science because the concepts and math are beyond reach, but that is no excuse for letting an enthusiast in a laboratory claim more than he can justify.