Well, it's not just the press though. Scientists are certainly guilty fo over-sensationalizing their own work. I've read plenty of stem cell scientists talking about 5 years this and 10 years that. It gives people false hopes...actually quite sad when you hear lay people who have families with illnesses talking about stem cells. As far as we know, it'll end up being gene therapy all over again
. There's a lot of basic promise being neglected because of the pressure to make it work clinically. One step at a time???
On renewable energies - CORN! GIVE ME YOUR VOTE IOWANS! CORN I SAY! CORN!
You have a point; scientists should be very cautious when talking to the press. Though I have personal experience of hearing a discussion between scientist and journalist and then reading distorted things in the published article.
It's good for scientists to be enthousiastic about the potential of new methods; it's that (sometimes extreme) optimism that drives us. I guess it's unavoidable for the public (who has no expertise in these matters) to get overexcited to some extent too when they read an article about a cancer cure in mice when in reality there is no guarantee that such a result will translate into humans (and in most cases it doesn't). Gene therapy is an excellent example. You might say that all the hype led to nothing but I would disagree; valuable lessons were learnt and that field is still going strong. It will certainly take much longer than initially predicted but significant progress has been made in many ways.
OK enough science talk. I need to go to bed too. Good night