Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Buzzwords to simplify the story

From Words that change minds:

"FrameWorks Institute helps nonprofits rethink their messages to simplify complicated ideas, move issues through Congress, and influence public opinion. Next month FrameWorks expects to release a report, sponsored by the Open Society Foundations, that aims to change the conversation about school discipline - part of a larger long-term project on education that`s drawn support from 10 major grant makers."

"You may not have heard of FrameWorks Institute, but you probably know its work and the vivid buzzwords it`s created to help charities, researchers, advocates and philanthropists translate complicated concepts to policy makers and the public."

`Climate change` is a catchy phrase that they had to come up with quickly when `global warming` would no longer do the job. It does not describe any specific processes and so it can mean anything at all related to the climate. As a term to encapsulate something significant about the weather it is useless.

`Toxic stress` is another of their phrases that conveys how trauma and instability can disrupt a child`s development. It should be noted that it is not a medical term and is often described by pseudo-neuroscientists in terms of the stress hormone cortisol; but since this pathway is also part of normal development the term is more hype than science. Nevertheless it is used by policy makers as a justification for early interventions.

In contrast to Ben Goldacre who believes that members of the public are capable of taking part in scientific discourse but do need open and transparent data on which to base their decisions, the Frameworks Institute is for packaging ready made solutions in catchy slogans.
"The entire notion that early [childhood] matters, and that we can invest in those ways, is all part of a new approach that has happened because scientists talk to policy makers in a different way," says Susan Nall Bales, the institute`s founder. "And I think that FrameWorks` research is at the heart of that."

Well we have been warned.

No comments:

Post a Comment