The only substantive qualification in the ad is “broad and deep experience reporting and editing stories on health, medicine and science.” But that’s so vague, it could mean nearly anything. Whoever wrote “13 Amazing Sex Tips From Around The World” for Cosmopolitan would probably be qualified.
Journalists and editors pay lip service to the notion that society needs better science communication, but their actions prove they don’t mean it. Why hire a Ph.D. or a person with a bachelor’s degree in science when it’s cheaper and easier to hire a social media intern who has spent the last few years copying-and-pasting press releases about scary toxins and miracle vegetables?
If you’ve ever wondered why science journalism is so incredibly bad, this is why. (It’s also one reason why we ranked NPR’s science coverage rather poorly.) But it’s not just NPR. It’s almost all of journalism.
Remember, if you aren’t aware of it, Bill Nye is NOT a scientist. His degree is a bachelor’s in engineering. But he’s a lefty and that’s all that counts.
So when the network created his show (with a definite ideological bent), no scientists need apply.