DNA testing companies under attack

And then what? Wait for a reporter to interpret the two and come up with a silly "conclusion" for the sake of good headlines?
This comment screams indifference.
So I just have to give you the benefit of the doubt that had you had more time on your hands, you would have re-read what you have written and not published that part.

I'm afraid I don’t understand your comment. Journalists aren't historians or population geneticists. A reporter’s job is to report on research and not to come up with his or own interpretation of the data. A good science journalist would seek out experts in the field and ask for their comments though sadly this rarely happens.
 
I'm afraid I don’t understand your comment. Journalists aren't historians or population geneticists. A reporter’s job is to report on research and not to come up with his or own interpretation of the data. A good science journalist would seek out experts in the field and ask for their comments though sadly this rarely happens.
If we speak the same English that's exactly what Mike was saying. Journalists have no particular competence to write about history or genetics. If we follow your suggestion that only geneticists should write about genetics and historians about history, who should write about the genetic history of populations? Journalists have a large audience but little expertise in complex fields like this. That's why if no academic has the expertise to combine both history and genetics journalists will interpret the data themselves to write their stories and the result isn't going to be pretty. That causes misinformation on a grand scale for the public. I quite like Maciamo's initiative to combine the two fields into a new field of historical genetics. Perhaps it's time that universities start teaching it. In the mean time I think that Maciamo is doing a fine job in explaining the history of populations using genetic data and you should recognise that.
 
If we speak the same English that's exactly what Mike was saying. Journalists have no particular competence to write about history or genetics. If we follow your suggestion that only geneticists should write about genetics and historians about history, who should write about the genetic history of populations? Journalists have a large audience but little expertise in complex fields like this. That's why if no academic has the expertise to combine both history and genetics journalists will interpret the data themselves to write their stories and the result isn't going to be pretty. That causes misinformation on a grand scale for the public.

We need historians, archaeologists, linguistics, geneticists and academics from other related disciplines to work together to write about these complex topics and this is in fact already happening. Projects are increasingly multidisciplinary. No single individual can possibly be an expert on every subject. Journalists are not academic researchers. The misinformation arises when journalists don't filter out the pseudoscience which was the subject of the Buzzfeed story that started this thread.
 
The Eurogenes blog has alerted us to this excellent new article by Patrick J. Geary and Krishna Veeramah which is very relevant to this discussion. The article summarises the problems of using modern DNA (and especially Y-DNA and mtDNA) to investigate past population histories. The article also stresses the importance of including historians and archaeologists as "integral participants in the planning, collection, and evaluation of data": http://eurogenes.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/do-it-right-or-dont-do-it-at-all.html
 
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The Eurogenes blog has alerted us to this excellent new article by Patrick J. Geary and Krishna Veeramah which is very relevant to this discussion. The article summarises the problems of using modern DNA (and especially Y-DNA and mtDNA) to investigate past population histories. The article also stresses the importance of including historians and archaeologists as "integral participants in the planning, collection, and evaluation of data": http://eurogenes.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/do-it-right-or-dont-do-it-at-all.html
Thanks Debbie for sharing.
 

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