As a final project in Ethan Zuckerman’s Participatory News course, I built StudyGrader, a bookmarklet which scans news articles about medical studies and looks for common issues (causation and correlation, anyone?). To create the service, I repurposed Dan Schultz’s open source TruthGoggles project to take on a long-time pet peeve.
I changed the rules and interface of TruthGoggles to instead look for red- and green-flag words in news articles about medical studies. Readers are trained to think critically about reports of studies. The bookmarklet currently works in prototype form, but needs more work to fully integrate the software ruleset I derived from recommendations by the Science Media Centre and other media critics.