Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

BBC Trust to tackle ‘accuracy and impartiality’ of science coverage with new review

In Journalism, Science on April 28, 2010 at 5:51 am


BBC Trust to tackle ‘accuracy and impartiality’ of science coverage with new review

On Global Warming, Scientists and TV Weathercasters Are at Odds –

In Global Warming, Journalism, Science on March 30, 2010 at 10:05 pm


On Global Warming, Scientists and TV Weathercasters Are at Odds –

Can blogging about your research-in-progress help feed the ideas pipeline?

In Journalism, New Media, Science on February 20, 2008 at 5:03 pm

Crowdsourcing for science? Posted by Alison McCook
[Entry posted at 20th February 2008 01:42 PM GMT]
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Last night, I and other attendees of the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships 25th Anniversary Symposium in Boston were introduced to an interesting idea, courtesy of Clive Thompson, science writer extraordinaire for Wired and other outlets: Write blogs to get ideas.

It’s a basic concept. Thompson — a surprisingly dapper (for a writer), well-coiffed, quick-talking presenter — explained that he constantly feeds his blog,, because blogging is “highly promiscuous” — meaning, you blog and link to another blog, then that person links to you in a future post, and so on. You find out who’s linked to you ( ), check them out, and see other blogs by like-minded people, who might think about something you’d never considered before.

Journalism is a bit like science: If someone works on your same idea and publishes first, your work is practically for naught. However, Thompson convinced his editors at Wired to let him post online some information about a column he was working on, asking for reader comments. He received nearly 15,000 words from readers and 65 emails — suggesting examples that illustrate his idea, or something else to think about.

Which made me think: Should scientists be doing more of this? As in, you’ve got a question you’d like to research, but you’re not sure how best to conduct your experiment. Why not ask the scientific community? We’ve written about moves in this direction, such as Nature Precedings. Would scientists participate without poaching?

We’ve also done some of our own experiments about crowdsourcing — notably, a feature last September that asked readers how they thought tenure should change, which received over 100 comments.

Thompson had all sorts of interesting ideas about how to get — well, ideas. For instance, in front of the audience, he logged onto his profile on, which operates under a practically inexplicable premise, and asked: “Does anyone have a question they want to ask a room full of science journalists?” Twenty minutes or so later, he checked back and found six or so questions, including our opinion of the new movie “Jumper.” One question, however, came from “Hermida” — Alfred Hermida, an assistant professor at the graduate school of journalism at the University of British Columbia, who was in the audience and scheduled to speak today (February 20). His question: “Why aren’t they on Twitter?”

By the end of Thompson’s one-hour presentation, Hermida had posted a blog about the talk on

Moving Beyond Gore’s Message: A Look Back (and Ahead) at Climate Change Communications

In Journalism, Science, Uncategorized on February 17, 2008 at 1:27 am

Matthew C. Nisbet January 9, 2008 — Washington, D.C.

Understanding citizen perceptions of science controversy: bridging the ethnographic—survey research divide

In Journalism, Politics, Science, Uncategorized on February 15, 2008 at 2:57 am

Matthew C. Nisbet School of Communication, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20016, USA,

Robert K. Goidel Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University
Using the contemporary debate in the United States over embryonic stem cell research as a test case, we outline a theoretical framework that points to the central impact of value predispositions, schema, political knowledge, and forms of mass media use in shaping public perceptions of science. In the process, by proposing an alternative approach to the dominant science literacy model, we address the existing divide between survey-based and ethnographic studies. Analyzing nationally representative survey data collected in the US in the fall of 2003, our findings suggest that value predispositions related to Christian conservatism and social ideology, along with schema related to abortion and reservations about science, serve as primary influences on citizen evaluations of embryonic stem cell research and therapeutic cloning, while our measure of issue-specific political knowledge had no statistically significant impact. In addition, after all controls, attention to newspaper coverage along with various forms of genre-specific entertainment television use have unique influences on citizen evaluations, suggesting that the mass media provide an important part of the social context by which citizens judge controversial science. Other survey results since our data collection in 2003 lend support to our findings. Religious and ideological values appear to filter the influence of information disseminated by scientific institutions. We conclude by discussing future research that connects findings from ethnographic studies with survey-based approaches.

Public Understanding of Science, Vol. 16, No. 4, 421-440 (2007)