Carl Sagan´s Guide to Fake News is an activity designed to help us with fact-checking.
This activity has been run at the Science Museum, the Big Bang Fair and made a special appearance for World Space Week. This page makes the activity available in online form providing a set of stories for you to investigate. Before you do so though, I recommend you read this article on fact-checking and familiarize yourself with Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Toolkit from his book: “The Demon Haunted World: Science as a candle in the dark”.
Stories to investigate:
- Japanese astronaut grows in space and now say he’s worried he won’t properly fit in the capsule bring him back
- University of Surrey invents space-hoover
- Voyager 2 spacecraft reprogrammed by aliens
- Jupiter has liquid metallic hydrogen ocean
- The origin of the revolving door
- The revolving door was an attack on chivalry
- Diet of fish can prevent teen violence
- Farmer shoots 23lb grasshopper
- Paypal was invented by accident
- Fairies photographed
The linked articles above also contain a link to an online survey where you can plot your assessment of each story on the “scale of baloney”. Once you have voted you can click onto a further page where you can see the “facts” behind each story, and understand how the baloney detection toolkit can help you navigate your way to the truth.
I will continue to update this page, which you can access directly at faxenews.jmitch.co.uk.
If you want to contact you can tweet or send a direct message to @jmitch_co_uk or leave a comment below.
I will also continue to add to the stories and provide updates on the feedback received.