New Horizons in Science

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Science + Science Writing: When ideology or special interests hijack science topics

Topic: Science + Science Writing
Opinion does not equal science protest sign
Monday, October 28, 2019 -
12:50pm to 1:50pm

What's a science writer to do when ideologues or economic and political interests construct narratives that "hijack" discussions of science-based policy issues? How to report accurately on public questions when belief and misinformation swamp evidence and scientific consensus? Climate change is probably the most publicized example, with religious, economic and political concerns contending against scientific conclusions for the public's attention and concurrence. But the same dynamic also plays out in other issues. In this session, two journalists who write about such "hijacked" policy questions, GMO foods and the science talent "shortage," will describe the challenges they face in providing accurate coverage. A cognitive scientist who studies the effects of various communication strategies on public understanding of climate change will offer guidance on effective ways of conveying the truth amid such controversies.


Image: John Englart (Takver) (CC BY-SA 2.0)


About CASW

The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing is committed to improving the quality and quantity of science news reaching the public. Directed and advised by distinguished journalists and scientists, CASW develops and funds programs that encourage accurate and informative writing about developments in science, technology, medicine and the environment.

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