Sunday, October 20, 2013

Big Picture Science for 10/21/13 - Skeptic Check: War of the Worlds

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Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: War of the Worlds

It was the most famous invasion that never happened. But Orson Welles’ 1938 “War of the Worlds” broadcast sure sounded convincing as it used news bulletins and eyewitness accounts to describe an existential Martian attack. The public panicked. Or did it? New research says that claims of mass hysteria were overblown.

On the 75th anniversary of the broadcast: How the media manufactured descriptions of a fearful public and why – with our continued fondness for conspiracies – we could be hoodwinked again

Plus, journalism ethics in the age of social media. Can we tweet “Mars is attacking!” with impunity?

And why we’re obsessed with the Red Planet.



You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

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