Science writing

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Issues and challenges in science writing to mass media

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Science writing

  1. 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. 2. How many Earths? our beloved Milky Way may host billions of stars with Earth-like planets.
  3. 3. Lithium batteries that can perch on the head of a pin.
  4. 4. bionic eye – gifting sight to the vision impaired.
  5. 5. These funny-looking rodents could wind up teaching humans a lot about cancer.
  6. 6. (Higgs) boson particles … The God Particles?
  7. 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. 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. 9. BT NT RT ETET ST ICT Progressing science
  10. 10. biodiversity agriculture Autom obiles enviro nment Commu nication gadjets Electronic gadgets health People like to read
  11. 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. 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. 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. 14. SCIENCE FOR CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION S C I E N C E CURIOSITY AWARENESS/THINKING APPLICATION INNOVATION ASSIMILATION INTEGRATION ASSOCIATION OBSERVATION
  15. 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. 16. PROVEN POWER OF POPULAR SCIENCE WRITING….
  17. 17. WHO? • Scientists? Good, but too busy!? • Freelancers • Journalists • Doing good. But many hurdles…
  18. 18. GREAT SCIENTISTS WERE ALSO GOOD SCIENCE WRITERS
  19. 19. RACE FOR SPACE… • Over - Obsession with Politics, Entertainment… • Science coverage - 3% • Periodic, Major Events.. • Exclusive Science Magazines, Columns, Pages
  20. 20. Popular, powerful, easily accessible to common people
  21. 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. 22. Researchers Writers Institutions
  23. 23. INFO. SOURCES • Journals in-accessible to writers • Labs/Institutes – no sharing • Newsletters/In house Publications • Online Repositories • Email alerts • Free Online journals
  24. 24. NEUTRAL WRITING • Phrasing • Clarify, Don’t confuse • Too far fetched conclusions • Lobbying.. Society is generally science – phobic, suspicious ?!
  25. 25. THINK LOCAL.. Local languages, issues, examples, context • translation of Western Science/Research • Local Relevance? • Local actions, Innovations • Translation – Technical Words?
  26. 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. 27. PSUEDO SCIENCE…
  28. 28. WRITING SCIENCE IS AN • A... ACCURATE, ATTRACTIVE • R… RESPONSIBLE, RELEVANT, RELIABLE • T… TIMELY, Thoughtful A R T
  29. 29. thanks This ppt presentation can be viewed / downloaded from www.slideshare.net/jayakar Contact: mbjaikar@gmail.com 94481110190

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