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Issues and challenges in science writing to mass media

Issues and challenges in science writing to mass media

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  • 1. SCIENCE WRITING IN MASS MEDIA: ISSUES AND CHALLENGES Invited Lecture DST sponsored Workshop on Science writing for Mass Media Dept. Mass Communication & Journalism Mangalore University 20—22 March 2014 Jayakara Bhandary M. Associate Professor & Head Dept. of Botany, GFGC, Karwar mbjaikar@gmail.com
  • 2. How many Earths? our beloved Milky Way may host billions of stars with Earth-like planets.
  • 3. Lithium batteries that can perch on the head of a pin.
  • 4. bionic eye – gifting sight to the vision impaired.
  • 5. These funny-looking rodents could wind up teaching humans a lot about cancer.
  • 6. (Higgs) boson particles … The God Particles?
  • 7. The invisibility Cloak of Harry Potter turning a reality..? Source: http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/science-questions/top-10- scientific-discoveries-of-2013.htm
  • 8. • Science inseparable part of modern life • modern Society is S & T driven. • Science Literacy/awareness essential – Informed choices – Distinguish risks & benefits – Public Debate – Policy Making Impact of science & technology
  • 9. BT NT RT ETET ST ICT Progressing science
  • 10. biodiversity agriculture Autom obiles enviro nment Commu nication gadjets Electronic gadgets health People like to read
  • 11. Science Communication? • public media presenting science related topics to non- scientists and non-scientific communities. • processes by which the scientific culture and its knowledge are incorporated into the common culture • the practice of producing and negotiating meanings, a practice which always takes place under specific social, cultural and political conditions. • It involves use of appropriate skills, media, activities, and dialogue to produce one or more of the following personal responses to science: Awareness, enjoyment, interests, opinion forming, and understating
  • 12. Purpose • Awareness, including familiarity with new aspects of science • Enjoyment or other affective responses, e.g. appreciating science as entertainment or art. • Interest, as evidenced by voluntary involvement with science or its communication. • Opinions, the forming, reforming, or confirming of science-related attitudes. • Understanding of science, its content, process, and social factors, etc.
  • 13. WHY KNOW SCIENCE? • Knowing the facts and principle of Science and its applications – cognitive development • Understanding science as a social enterprise- History and development • Relating to environment – natural, artifacts and people • Cultivating Scientific Temper – objectivity, critical thinking, freedom from fear and prejudice • Concern and care for HUMANITY and ENVIRONMENT
  • 14. SCIENCE FOR CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION S C I E N C E CURIOSITY AWARENESS/THINKING APPLICATION INNOVATION ASSIMILATION INTEGRATION ASSOCIATION OBSERVATION
  • 15. PUBLIC SOURCE OF SCIENCE INFO.. • Public understanding and perception of S&T issues are mainly shaped by their depiction in mass media – Print – Electronic SCIENCE WRITING FOR MASS MEDIA is ESSENTIAL CRITICAL RESPONSIBLE
  • 16. PROVEN POWER OF POPULAR SCIENCE WRITING….
  • 17. WHO? • Scientists? Good, but too busy!? • Freelancers • Journalists • Doing good. But many hurdles…
  • 18. GREAT SCIENTISTS WERE ALSO GOOD SCIENCE WRITERS
  • 19. RACE FOR SPACE… • Over - Obsession with Politics, Entertainment… • Science coverage - 3% • Periodic, Major Events.. • Exclusive Science Magazines, Columns, Pages
  • 20. Popular, powerful, easily accessible to common people
  • 21. TRAINING / NETWORKING • Researchers to write simple science • Journalists – No science background • Journalism College/Departments –Specialisation /Short term Courses in Science Journalism Science Writing to Researchers
  • 22. Researchers Writers Institutions
  • 23. INFO. SOURCES • Journals in-accessible to writers • Labs/Institutes – no sharing • Newsletters/In house Publications • Online Repositories • Email alerts • Free Online journals
  • 24. NEUTRAL WRITING • Phrasing • Clarify, Don’t confuse • Too far fetched conclusions • Lobbying.. Society is generally science – phobic, suspicious ?!
  • 25. THINK LOCAL.. Local languages, issues, examples, context • translation of Western Science/Research • Local Relevance? • Local actions, Innovations • Translation – Technical Words?
  • 26. GOING BEYOND SCIENCE.. • Mere Description of Science Facts/events - little use to Society • Weighing Benefits vs Risks • Analysis of Socio-economical implications, ethical impacts are important.
  • 27. PSUEDO SCIENCE…
  • 28. WRITING SCIENCE IS AN • A... ACCURATE, ATTRACTIVE • R… RESPONSIBLE, RELEVANT, RELIABLE • T… TIMELY, Thoughtful A R T
  • 29. thanks This ppt presentation can be viewed / downloaded from www.slideshare.net/jayakar Contact: mbjaikar@gmail.com 94481110190

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