Press and Pop Culture

Outreach for Science Journalism?

In a conversation with Ann Finkbeiner Dan Vergano offers some interesting and provocative thoughts on the science ghetto. One of his points seems to be that science journalism has not made a case for its relevance to broader news stories. Unfortunately, he suggests, by concentrating on “gee-whiz stuff” science writers have contributed the marginalization of science journalism and the exclusion of science from broader societal debates. He is calling for science journalists to justify their work by making it relevant to non-science journalists. While the comments challenge various claims, too few engage with this issue. Simply repeating that science is important and affects all of us is clearly not sufficient. Nor is labeling other people too ignorant about science to appreciate its importance particularly useful—both these approaches have failed miserably for faculty in the humanities, as the most recent epidemic of handwringing demonstrates. What would genuine outreach look like for science journalism and science writing?

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