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Most British adults are critical of the way that science is portrayed in the media, according to a survey released on 6 March.

The survey — commissioned by the Royal Society, Britain’s leading scientific organisation — that found that only 39 per cent of 1,001 respondents agreed with the statement “the media present science in a responsible way”.

“There has been some sensational reporting in the newspapers about high profile scientific issues in recent years,” says Paul Nurse, chairman of the Royal Society’s Science in Society initiative.

The survey also found that biological weapons, global warming and the genetic modification of food and animals are the science-related issues currently causing the most public concern.

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