Council for Media Integrity
An educational outreach and advocacy program of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI)
The Council for Media Integrity was founded in the summer of 1996 at the first World Skeptics Congress, held at the State University of New York at Buffalo. The Council is comprised of a network of distinguished international scientists, academics, and members of the media concerned with the balanced portrayal of science in the media. Members of the Council include E.O. Wilson, Martin Gardner, and Sir John Maddox.
Accomplishments of the Council to date include:
- Establishing the “Candle in the Dark Award” to honor and publicize accurate and inspiring views of science in the media.
- Candle in the Dark Award: Bill Nye, PBS Television’s Science Guy
- Snuffed Candle Award: Dan Akroyd, for promotion of the paranormal on his pseudo-documentary Psi-Factor
- Candle in the Dark Award: PBS Television’s Scientific American Frontiers
- Snuffed Candle Award: Art Bell, radio talk-show host
- Issuing an advisory, endorsed by Council members Paul Kurtz and entertainer Steve Allen, to U.S. newspapers asking them to print a disclaimer alongside horoscope columns. Currently, close to 70 papers have adopted this policy.
- Numerous op-ed submissions to newspapers by Council members advocating a more balanced portrayal of science by the media.
- Creating a Media Stock Fund, an effort to acquire stock in large media conglomerates in a hope to leverage sound scientific programming.
Skeptical Inquirer, The Magazine for Science and Reason, has tirelessly advocated for balance and accuracy in the media. For instance, Eugene Emery, a science reporter with the Providence Journal, contributes regularly to SKEPTICAL INQUIRER’s Media Watch. column. He also writes a yearly press release on failed psychic predictions that annually prompts numerous print articles and radio interviews. In the past, Emery has served as a speaker at the World Skeptics Congress and other national and international conferences.
In an era of tabloid news, pleas for accuracy and balance must become more insistent and pervasive. The Council for Media Integrity can actively promote the importance of scientific literacy, and the appreciation of the scientific method and critical thinking.
- Paul Kurtz, professor emeritus, SUNY at Buffalo, chair emeritus, Center for Inquiry
- Joe Nickell, senior research fellow, CSICOP
- Barry Karr, executive director, CSICOP
- William Evans,prof. of communications Georgia State University
- Matt Nisbet, coordinator, CMI
- Phillip Adams, TV / film producer
- Alun Mark Anderson, editor, New Scientist
- Stephen Barrett, M.D., psychiatrist, doctor
- Susan J. Blackmore, psychologist, University of the West of England
- Jim Bohannon, syndicated radio broadcaster
- Barbara Lynn Eisenstadt, exec. dir., Creative Options
- Kendrick Frazier, editor, Skeptical Inquirer
- Martin Gardner, Science Writer
- George Gerbner, prof. communications, University of Pennsylvania
- Paul R. Gross, biologist, University of Virginia
- Van Harvey, religious studies educator, Stanford University
- Gerald Holton, physicist, Harvard University
- Donald Johanson, Institute of Human Origins
- Leonard Krishtalka, director, Natural History Museum, University of Kansas
- Edwin C. Krupp, director, Griffith Observatory
- Norman Levitt, professor of mathematics, Rutgers University
- Jere Lipps, director, Museum of Paleontology, University of California at Berkeley
- Sir John Maddox, editor emeritus, Nature
- Gerald Piel, former president, AAAS; former publisher, Scientific American
- John Rennie, editor-in-chief, Scientific American
- Wallace Sampson, MD, professor of medicine, Stanford University
- Amardeo Sarma, project supervisor, EURESCOM
- David Schwimmer, paleontologist, Columbus College, Georgia
- Eugenie C. Scott, anthropologist, Executive Director, National Center for Science Education, Inc., Berkeley, CA
- E.O. Wilson, Harvard University