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Nutrition Today:
doi: 10.1097/NT.0b013e3181fd59c6
Nutrition and Communications

Transparency in Health/Nutrition News: Stripping Away the "Emperor's New Clothes"

Rowe, Sylvia MA; Alexander, Nick BA

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Abstract

One of the current buzzwords in communication, science communication, and nonscience journalism is "transparency." It is supposed to be juxtaposed against something like "secretive" or "hidden." But the issue of transparency carries a lot more beneath the surface: it raises such matters as privacy concerns (when is exposure too much exposure?), intellectual property rights (why should everyone in the world have access by right to data that a scientist has worked hard to gather?), and in general, the broader issue around public versus private (is there ever a case where the public has no legitimate business to intrude on an individual's private life?). This article examines recent calls for greater transparency in communicating nutrition science and other information; it highlights positive consequences but also explores possible pitfalls of and obstacles to achieving greater transparency; and it raises the question-when might there be too much transparency?

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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