Science Journalism vs. Sports Journalism

Over at Backreaction, Bee takes up the eternal question of scientists vs. journalists in exactly the manner you would expect from a physicist: she makes a graph. Several of them, in fact. It’s generally a good analysis of the situation, namely that scientists and journalists disagree about how to maximize information transfer within the constraints […]

Journalism of the Gaps

I’ve seen a bunch of links to this interview with Peter Aldhous, mostly focusing on this quote: I think for most science journalists, their model of journalism is explanatory. It’s taking the arcane world of the high priests and priestesses of science and translating what they do into language the ordinary mortal can understand. And […]

Blogging Used to Be Punk Rock, Man

There’s a sense in which the saddest true statement I’ve read about the unpleasant events of the past week is this: Blog editor at Scientific American is a position of great power, with the ability to make or break careers. I’m not disputing the truth of this. It’s absolutely true that the position has enormous […]

On Hooks, and the Awesomeness of the Known

Over the weekend, before the whole Scientific America debacle blew up, Ben Lillie tweeted: Looking for science news pegs that aren't "a paper was published." Good examples? #ScioOcean #scionew — Ben Lillie (@BenLillie) October 12, 2013 This is, of course, a familiar problem to a lot of people who care about the public dissemination of […]

Malcolm Gladwell Is Deepak Chopra

I’m sure I’ve done more than enough wibbling about TED for this week, but the only major physics story at the moment involved the Higgs boson, and I’m thoroughly sick of that. So let’s talk about Malcolm Gladwell and journosplaining. Gladwell has a new book out, David and Goliath that from all reports is pretty […]

We Need Scientific Thinking, Not Scientific Commentary

Thursday’s tempest-in-a-teapot was kicked off by an interview with Dan Vergano in which he suggests science reporting is a “ghetto:” The idea, and it comes from the redoubtable Tom Hayden, is that science reporting has largely become a secret garden walled off, and walling itself off, from the rest of the world. Instead of reporting […]

On Journalists and Scientists Talking

Last week’s post about communications between scientists and journalists sparked a bit of discussion, and prompted the folks at the IoP’s Physics Focus blog to ask me for a guest post advising journalists on how to talk to scientists. The post is now live, with the self-explanatory headline How Journalists Can Help the Scientists They […]

O Brave New-Media World That Has Such Bloggers In It

I’ve been incredibly busy this term, but not so busy I couldn’t create more work for myself. Specifically, by writing an opinion piece for Physics World about the FTL neutrino business, that just went live on their web site: The result quickly turned into one of the most covered physics stories of the year, with […]