Adventures in Ethics and Science

Session description: Debris in the North Pacific Gyre received unprecedented attention in 2009 with voyages from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, Project Kaisei, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Each voyage integrated online outreach into its mission, but emphasized very different aspects of the problem. What are the challenges of creating a major outreach effort from one of the most isolated places on earth? How can scientists, journalists, and educators balance “exciting findings live from the field!” with “highly preliminary unpublished non-peer-reviewed data that our labwork might contradict”? And why is the public so interested in the issue of trash in the ocean, anyway?

The session was led by Miriam Goldstein (@oystersgarter), Lindsey Hoshaw (@thegarbagegirl), and Annie Crawley (@AnnieCrawley).

Here’s the session wiki page.

“Let’s Talk Trash” at #scio10 (Not about civility but the N. Atlantic gyre)

How do scientists, journos, filmmakers all try to produce information from the middle of the ocean? #scio10

Lindsey Hoshaw on crowdsourcing funding to go on an expedition to the garbage patch as a journalist #scio10

Sharing video of being there (not just text-based stories) #scio10

Video to document the everyday details of what researchers are doing on an ocean expedition. Cool to see sci activities being done #scio10

Importance of outreach – held press conferences on ship to address Q of why anyone should care. #scio10

Bad session attendees – don’t know what you want to talk abt b/c no one commented on the session wiki! #scio10

Focus on process (of the sci research and/or of getting the story) vs. getting the funding vs. what was learned by scientists #scio10

If someone brings in money (for reporting) w/out having an agenda, can u turn it away? What can funder say based on the sci? #scio10

Why are print news stories boring relative to blog posts/videos from same expedition? Blame editing? Sense of being involved? #scio10

Donors’ sense of being involved in the journalistic process. #scio10

Transparency is the new objectivity? #scio10

Does Comedy Central count as a traditional news outlet? #scio10

Ship time on some of these expeditions is $18K/day. Yikes! #scio10

How does the scientist communicate w/ the journo or blogger? DISCUSS THIS BEFORE YOU GO! #scio10

Nothing is news (to the scientist) until there’s a published paper. #scio10

@kejames says: Don’t compartmentalize scientists & writers. Scientists are doing lots of writing here! #scio10

Unexplored territory of social networking in delivering science stories from the field @oystersgarter #scio10

Need to tweet redactions as more information bearing on earlier tweets comes in. #scio10

Tweeting corrections makes scientific process more transparent to public than does holding off until you have “finished results” #scio10

@kzelnio So, do funding strategies include occasional forays into piracy? #scio10

“shameless use of Bora” @oystersgarter #scio10

Does poor response to NYT story/enthusiastic response to blog entries change your view of what journalism is (or should be?) #scio10

When someone on an expedition gets leg eaten by shark, no swimming in subsequent expeditions. #scio10

Want to grab public’s attention while getting the science (and the journalistic ethics) right. #scio10

@davemunger This is the same risk as hanging your head out the car window. Mama advises agin it! #scio10

Do scientists worry that press coverage during process will result in being scooped? @oystersgarter sez they talked to lawyers first #scio10

There is a cost to the science to add the media in the expedition. #scio10

Scientists here are in lab/field *and* getting broader audiences to care @oystersgarter #scio10

Diff ways to keep interest in the ocean alive. (But is it interest in what’s really happening or a picture not supported by facts?) #scio10

Expedition mostly abt collecting samples, followed by 2 yrs of processing. How to document “expedition” of labwork? #scio10

MSM loss of control means public is more exposed to messiness of science. Good? Or could undermine public trust in sci process? #scio10