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NSF Workshop on Science Journalism


Lost World Discovered Near Antarctic Vents. Sea Cucumbers: Dissolving Coral Reefs? Seawater Won't Halt Burmese Python Invasion.

These headlines introduced recent marine science news stories. Did these articles attract readers? If so, what’s the secret to their success? Participants in this workshop will learn how to present science in an interesting way while retaining factual accuracy — the key to good science communication and science journalism. David Conover, NSF Division Director for Ocean Sciences, will offer opening insights on communicating about the ocean sciences.

Science journalism aims to transmute scientific concepts and results from jargon-based language often understandable only by scientists, to news relevant to the lives of general readers (listeners/viewers). The workshop explores science writing for a non-scientific audience. Participants will review examples of good science writing from newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post, and news magazines like Science News and New Scientist; “dissect” the structure of science news and feature articles; discuss how popular coverage of science has changed in recent years; and learn the basics of science journalism.

Participants will have the opportunity to write a general audience science article about research presented at the conference, and individual feedback will be offered to those interested.

Contact Information: Cheryl Lyn Dybas, National Science Foundation, cdybas@nsf.gov, 703-292-7734

Workshop flyer: