Ben Goldacre is debating the science minister Lord Drayson tonight on science and the media at the Royal Institution. I’d love to go, but have, ahem, another engagement. I did catch an opening skirmish on the Today Programme this morning, in which Goldacre complained about the media and Drayson gave the impression everything was grand and we are living in a golden age of science reporting.

Bullshit. Every single national newspaper, including Goldacre’s Guardian is guilty of huge and sustained science abuse. The vast majority of journalists charged with reporting science have only mastered the copy and paste function necessary to crib their articles from the helpful press release.

And when you complain, you get some patronising fool whose ignorance is matched only by his self regard banging on about “the 24 hour news cycle” and its demands. Well, I apologise if I sound blunt, but nature knows nothing of the 24 hour news cycle, and MMR will still work, swine flu may (or may not) kill millions and the whole planet is quite capable of shrugging us off in favour of some less polluting life form like the cockroach with no input whatsoever from the 24 hour news cycle and the dingbats who drive it. And anyone who cannot see that is not fit to use the toilet on their own let alone spout their factual inaccuracies at their fellow citizens.

You can follow the debate live here, and a recording should be up tomorrow.