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Founding Seminar - Science and the Media

RISJ Admin

Contributing Author

Founding Seminar on science and medical journalism.On Friday 12 October, a distinguished group of scientists, doctors, journalists, and social scientists met at the Institute to discuss the media’s role in communicating scientific and medical information. The event was the Institute's latest 'founding seminar', which will lead to a research project and associated events on this theme.
Chaired by Lord Krebs, Principal of Jesus College and former chairman of the Food Standards Agency, the group examined different stages in the translation of information from the scientific community to the reading, viewing, listening or websurfing public. Participants from each discipline were often surprised to see how others perceived the issues. Scientists need help to become more proactive in publicising their findings; journalists in the UK's highly competitive newspaper culture will produce very different copy from that of their colleagues in the US or Germany, while the field of scientific journalism is still in its infancy in newly industrialised countries such as Singapore; and different publics will respond to media messages differently according to their own culture and personal priorities.
The Institute will now prepare a research proposal based on the ideas produced at the seminar, with a view to exploring some of these questions at a deeper level and producing findings that are informative for both policymakers and practitioners.
Sponsor: The Lancet