Job ads

Want to advertise your jobs on this page and on the ABSW's members only mailing list?

Details here...

Monday, 6 July 2009

A call for less science journalism

How could science writing for the public possibly be better? John Rennie, "outgoing" Editor in Chief of Scientific American, must have know that we would raise eyebrows with his comment that one answer to the question might be "maybe there should just be less of it".

He expands on this observation in a Scientific American Podcast, on the "Future of Science Coverage," based on comments he made at the World Conference of Science Journalists in London recently. His line, as reported in the transcript of the podcast, is that "we could all do with a lot fewer of the “what causes/cures cancer this week” story".

Rennie then goes on to dismember the "model of following what defines science news as that 95 percent of the time it is “interesting paper that appears in prestigious journal this week.”" As he says, "we’re all smart enough to know that that has absolutely nothing to do with how science works. That has to do with how publishing works."

The main message from Rennie is that "we have a responsibility as editors to try to rethink what counts as science news".