Standing up for Science media workshop - News & Features

24 April 2014
Standing up for Science media workshop

SfAM was pleased to sponsor delegates to the Sense About Science ‘Standing up for Science’ Media Workshop in Manchester on 14 March 2014. Yinka Somorin and Tosin Onabanjo, talk about their experience of the day.

The workshop started with a discussion on Science and the Media led by Matthew Cobb, Jeff Forshaw and Susanne Shultz. These scientists described their various experiences of interacting with the media, citing some good and also some unpleasant experiences.
The next session was one of the most informative for us. Victoria Gill and David Derbyshire, Science journalists, gave lucid details on what qualifies a science story to make the news. David explained why scientists must engage with the media and said if scientists do not speak to journalists, others, often promoting pseudoscience, will. The panellists described how science news is sourced and the processes involved in checking the veracity before it finally become an article in the news.

Between the sessions, groups discussed what was good and bad about science reporting in the media, and later the challenges preventing early career researchers from ‘Standing up for Science’ with a view to advancing ways for early career scientists to get involved.

In the final session, Jamie Brown of the University of Liverpool Press Office gave useful tips on how early career scientists can ‘Stand up for Science’ and get involved. Lydia Le Page of the University of Oxford then shared her experience on how she got involved with Sense About Science and the ‘Ask for Evidence’ campaign, which has received wide interest.

Special thanks go to the Society for Applied Microbiology for funding our participation at the workshop.