OK, so it is not really doing science via public media, but we all should have learned our lessons already by now when new results are announced via press conference AHEAD of it being scrutinized by experts in the field. We could go back, way back, to the Fleshmann and Pons "cold fusion" debacle. But people young enough to not be aware of that still have no excuses, because the recent "fast than light" neutrinos measured by OPERA should also be a major lesson.
But I guess some people, especially the PR departments at major institutions, just never learn. The same embarrassing fate may befallen on the recent BICEP2 results. After much media publicity of the implications of the results, the media are now touting how it could be wrong, which is a claim that needs to also be verified.
I can certainly understand how "big discoveries" of this magnitude can being a spotlight to science, especially in physics. I definitely see the advantage of that. However, and this is especially true for something that is so dependent on many factors and many ways to analyze, we need to lean on the conservative side and let the process takes its course before touting the results. I am certain that if the BICEP2 result was simply submitted for publication, and then it appears in print, no one in the media would somehow recognize the profound implication of its results. So why not wait until sufficient scrutiny has been done before we approach the media and then tell them that, hey, we have published this paper and this is the big implication of the result?
This is where the news embargo that Science and Nature impose on submission inadvertently helps in this process. Unlike PRL and many journals that do not have such restrictions, Nature and Science forces the authors to "keep it down" while the manuscript undergoes its rounds of scrutiny and refereeing, no press releases, no public announcement, etc., until after it has been accepted. Then, even the PR people at these journals will try to trumpet the results as much as they can!
You do science via public media, you sometime die via the same public media.