We talk these days about the future of science journalism, by which we usually mean its migration from traditional habitats – printed words on paper, radio stations on the dial, television networks – into the 21st century landscape. Most of us see that landscape as a technological one, transformed by blogging and webcasting, Twitter and Facebook, and possibilities to be yet invented.
But as journalism evolves into a product of new media, it’s important to also consider not only what will change – also what we should keep.
Any notion that the 6th World Conference of Science Journalists held in London last week was going to be a tame, cosy affair was shattered at the opening plenary when a row broke out as to what constitutes science journalism. Jeff Nesbit, Director of the office of legislative affairs at the US National Science Foundation, which is a bit like our research councils, offered his prescription for the current crisis in science journalism – the scientific community should step in and do it ourselves.
See below coverage by News of the News – a fake news blog:
THE US news network CNN has axed its entire science staff, there have been reports of newspapers across the United States ditching their science correspondents and questions have been asked over the longevity of specialist science magazines. So it was with some trepidation that about 900 writers, broadcasters and communicators gathered in London this week for the World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ).
So the World Conference of Science Journalists is over, and what a conference it was. Around 950 science writers, journalists and communicators gathered over three days at London's Westminster Central Hall for debate, discussions, diatribes and, of course, plenty of drink.
With a delightfully packed schedule and the repressing heat of an unusually sunny London week, you'd be forgiven if bits of it passed you by in a bit of a haze.
By Véronique Morin
The World Federation of Science journalists elected a new board during its General Assembly held during the World Conference of Science Journalists in London. Nadia El-Awady was acclaimed president, following tradition that a science journalist representing the host country of the next WCSJ, becomes president of the federation.
Three papers in Nature* this week provide new insights into genetic variation and schizophrenia risk. Using combined data from three large cohorts, the papers jointly reveal significant associations to individual loci that implicate immunity, cognition and brain development. Additionally, one of the papers provides genetic evidence for a substantial polygenic component to risk of schizophrenia that also contributes to risk of bipolar disorder.
London, 30 June 2009 A British Council survey into awareness of Charles Darwin and attitudes towards evolution has found that there is a broad international consensus of acceptance towards his theory of evolution.