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20 February 2014
Even Stephen is hawking his science differently
CHICAGO – Last month, Stephen Hawking uploaded a two-page commentary about his new ideas about black holes to arXiv, a preprint server hosted by Cornell University Library covering research in physics, mathematics, computer science, nonlinear sciences, quantitative biology and statistics.
The paper generated buzz among journalists, who reported on Hawking’s commentary, and it also took off on social media and in the blogosphere where others in the scientific community commented on, discussed and contested Hawking’s ideas.
What Hawking did — posting his thoughts to the site rather than going through the traditional channels — and the commentary that ensued would not have been possible a decade ago, Carl Zimmer, a columnist with The New York Times, told an audience here Feb.13 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
22 October 2013
On the air with a paleoclimatologist
The path of science news goes something like this: Nature is doing something interesting, scientist discovers the interesting thing, reporter talks to scientist, public hears reporter, public understands nature better, world is a better place. This is what I learned over the summer working as a science reporter at KQED public radio in San Francisco.
This summer, AGU sponsored me as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Mass Media Fellow. The fellowship gives about a dozen young scientists each year the opportunity to cultivate their communications skills while also providing media outlets with a temporary scientific expert.
29 July 2013
Breaking news by bicycle: AGU’s Mass Media Fellow recounts chasing the news on two wheels
The news broke around 4:00 p.m. on Fri., June 30. I was sitting at my desk at KQED (San Francisco’s local NPR affiliate) when the office began to buzz. Editors and producers were literally running around the office. Most of the reporters had already left for the weekend. I was about to head home myself when my producer and mentor, Molly Samuel, turned to me and said, “There’s breaking news – same sex couples are lining up at San Francisco’s City Hall. Would you be interested in recording interviews?”
28 June 2013
AGU’s 2013 Mass Media Fellow will share science on the airwaves
Mike Osborne, a Stanford University PhD student of paleoclimatology, was becoming fatigued with the “apocalyptic rhetoric” surrounding climate change. “With climate change, the politics have gotten so tangled up with the science, I kind of got to the point that I didn’t know what to believe,” Osborne said. “I wanted to be able to speak to it better.”
30 July 2012
The journalistic method: Making the jump from science to journalism
My geology training didn’t cover the use of sedation in dentistry. In my PhD work, I never had to investigate the details of proposed guidelines for hepatitis C screenings, or the difficulties of vitamin D testing. But as the 2012 AGU-sponsored AAAS Mass Media fellow, I’ve reported on these subjects and more for the Chicago Tribune. Working as a health reporter hasn’t been as difficult as I imagined, however. I just used the scientific method.
15 June 2012
From TV studio to Congressional office, choose brief and simple to convey science and its uncertainty
Dan Satterfield deals with uncertainty every day as Chief Meteorologist for WBOC-TV in Salisbury, Maryland. Now in his 32nd year of on-air television reporting, he said that a large part of his job is knowing how best to communicate about tricky science topics. “Tell them what you know and not what you don’t know,” he said. Satterfield and former AGU Congressional Science Fellow Maeve Boland led off an all-day AGU science policy communications training at the AMS Summer Policy Colloquium on June 7th.
16 September 2010
Earth scientist heads for stint as radio reporter
About to take on a new identity as a radio reporter in Colorado, soil ecologist Marissa Weiss will keep TPS readers posted on what it’s like to jump suddenly (albeit temporarily) from science to journalism. Marissa is AGU’s 2010 Mass Media Fellow. Here’s her introductory post: After spending six years in a soil ecology lab, I am about to trade a microcentrifuge for a microphone. About two weeks ago, I …
27 August 2010
Mass Media Fellowship: As the media evolves, training in newsrooms remains relevant
Guest post by Stacey Pasco, Mass Media Program Manager at the American Association for the Advancement of Science If journalism is changing and traditional media sites are disappearing, is science journalism training still relevant? I’m often asked this question as the manager of the 37-year old AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellowship. More than relevant, it’s required. If scientists are expected to communicate with the public, and the desire …