Science and communications lessons from bird flu panic
08 June 2006
Bird flu h5n1 virus anatomy
He said that in all such instances it was essential to weigh up probabilities properly and then to communicate fluently to the general public.
Dr Pike had been invited by the Commons Science and Technology Committee to give evidence in its enquiry Scientific Advice, Risk and Evidence: How the Government Handles Them.
Working out the probability was an essential process, he said, adding: "Get that right then you ask yourself 'how do I communicate that in an easily understandable way to the public?'
"I am not convinced that was done either. In summary get the science right but understand what probabilities really mean. Get that right and then communicate correctly in a way that the lay public can understand."
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