evidence-based information

Ethical Reflections on the 9/11 Controversy

From Foreign Policy Journal

Do Information Science and Media Professionals Have a Duty to Provide Evidence-Based Information to a Questioning Public?

by Elizabeth Woodworth

September 24, 2010

 

This essay was originally published by the international journal, Information for Social Change. It has been republished here with permission from the author.

Abstract: While it is recognized that through the use of meta-analysis and randomized controlled trials the standard of excellence in evidenced-based medicine (EBM) stands alone on a pinnacle, there is nonetheless an evidence-based methodology that can be applied across the board in other decision-making areas.  Though research into the events of 9/11 has not yet attained the rigor achieved by EBM, it is still possible to rank the research in this field according to evidence-based principles. This article explains the principles, points to sources that exemplify them, and argues the ethical obligation of librarians and journalists to advance those sources .

Ground Zero

Nine-eleven has done more to change the world’s political landscape than any other event since World War II.

And 9/11 is far from over:  it triggered what Western leaders have declared an “endless” or “generational” war on terror.  Even President Obama stated in March 2009 that the Afghan-Pakistan border region “has become the most dangerous place in the world” for the American people.[1]

Increasingly, however, the official account of its cause has come under rigorous scientific scrutiny and doubt.  In Europe, strong media coverage followed the unchallenged 2009 discovery of high-tech military explosives in the World Trade Center dust.[2]