Scientists' Fear of the Interview

A scientist often approaches an interview or news conference with trepidation. He or she may worry about hostile media, misquotation, or appearing to be a self-promoter, particularly in the eyes of colleagues. However, the scientist will quickly find that the huge majority of media are interested only in being fair and accurate. The scientist who is forthright will be treated fairly. And the scientist who explains clearly and who provides written information will be unlikely to be misquoted or misunderstood. Finally, the scientist who seeks to explain his or her work and field in perspective, including credit to colleagues, will most likely be seen as a responsible member of his or her profession.

In the rare event that a scientist is asked a question that is foolish, in poor taste or embarrassing, he or she does not have to answer it. Also, as mentioned earlier, if a point that the scientists feels is important is not brought up in the interview, he or she should feel free to raise it.


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