SCIENCE WRITING IN MASS MEDIA:
ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
DST sponsored Workshop on
Science writing for Mass Media
Dept. Mass Communication & Journalism
20—22 March 2014
Jayakara Bhandary M.
Associate Professor & Head
Dept. of Botany, GFGC, Karwar
How many Earths? our beloved Milky Way may host
billions of stars with Earth-like planets.
Lithium batteries that can perch on the head of a pin.
bionic eye – gifting sight to the vision impaired.
These funny-looking rodents could wind up teaching
humans a lot about cancer.
The invisibility Cloak of Harry Potter turning a reality..?
• Science inseparable part of modern
• modern Society is S & T driven.
• Science Literacy/awareness
– Informed choices
– Distinguish risks & benefits
– Public Debate
– Policy Making
Impact of science & technology
People like to read
• 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
• 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.
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
• Cultivating Scientific Temper – objectivity, critical
thinking, freedom from fear and prejudice
• Concern and care for HUMANITY and
PUBLIC SOURCE OF SCIENCE INFO..
• Public understanding and perception of S&T
issues are mainly shaped by their depiction in
SCIENCE WRITING FOR MASS MEDIA is
• Scientists? Good, but
• Doing good. But many
GREAT SCIENTISTS WERE ALSO GOOD
RACE FOR SPACE…
• Over - Obsession with
• Science coverage - 3%
• Periodic, Major Events..
• Exclusive Science Magazines,
Popular, powerful, easily accessible
to common people
TRAINING / NETWORKING
• Researchers to write simple
• Journalists – No science
• Journalism College/Departments
–Specialisation /Short term
in Science Journalism
Science Writing to Researchers