You may be aware of the ongoing discussion about the tense relationship between scientists and science journalists. Here is the quick rundown of posts so far:
Question for the academic types–interview requests
The Mad Biologist and Science Journalists
Science Journalists are NOT the Problem
Just don’t quote me
Science and the Press
Scientists and Journalists, Part Deux
Scientists in the Media
Science/journalists update redux: Mooney chimes in
Science and journalism
Journalists and scientists – an antimatter explosion?
Madam Speaker, I Yield My Remaining Time to the Paleontologist from the Great State of California
Scientists and Journalists, Redux
Scientists and journalists, still going….
Science and Journalism
On dealing with journalists
Scientists and journalists
Scientists and the Media
Education and Media Relations
Lying to Children about Drugs
Press releases and the framing of science journalism]
Very smart stuff in posts and comments, to which it is difficult to add anything very new and creative. But….
Everyone is afraid to use the F word, but the underlying tension is, at its core, the same as in the discussion of Framing Science:
The scientists want to educate.
The journalists want to inform (if not outright entertain, or at least use entertaining hooks in order to inform).
There is a difference between the two goals. The former demands accuracy. The latter demands relevance. As long as both parties are aware of the existence of two disparate goals, there is a possibility of conversation that can lead to an article that satisfies both goals, thus both participants.
Media is not the place for education and scientists need to understand this simple fact. But media is great at attention-getting, so those who are intrigued by a news report can follow up and get educated on top of getting informed.
I was never interviewed about my research. If I was, I suspect I’d have some horror stories to tell because I’d have been tempted to educate instead of inform. All the articles for which I was interviewed (linked below the fold), either by professional journalists or by other bloggers, were about the Conference, the Anthology, or about science blogging in general. I have nothing but positive impressions of the people who conducted the interviews.
‘Can blogs make science cool?’ by Janet Babin, NPR Marketplace, January 19th, 2007
‘Discovery finds its way a click at a time’ by Kristin Collins, Raleigh News & Observer, January 21st, 2007 (reprinted in Charleston (SC) Post and Courier and in the Houston Chronicle on January 22nd, 2007)
‘Science blogger Bora Zivkovic’ by Corie Lok, News @ Nature, January 22nd, 2007
‘Science Bloggers Avoid the Spinach Dip Brush-Off’ by Eva Amsen, Inkling Magazine, January 24th, 2007
‘Interview with Bora Zivkovic of Scienceblogs.com/clock’ by Paul Van Heden, Asheville Community Radio, January 29th, 2007
‘Online, Three Years Are Infinity’ by Klaus Taschwer, Heureka (Austria), March 29th, 2007
‘Scooped by a blog’ by David Secko, The Scientist, Vol. 21, Issue 4, page 21, April 2007
Review of three anthologies of science essays, The Reading Diary of John Dupuis, March 01, 2007
‘Serbian Immigrant Ponders Links Between Politics and Science’ by Nicholas Genes, Medscape, February 1st, 2006.
‘Genetics Interview #13: Bora Zivkovic of A Blog Around The Clock’ by Hsien Hsien Li, Genetics and Health Blog, August 24th, 2006.
Scientists Enter the Blogosphere, by Laura Bonetta, Cell, Volume 129, Issue 3, 4 May 2007, Pages 443-445
Blogger’s Unite by Paul Stevenson, Nature, June 14, 2007