Summer School

News and Events

At October's World Conference of Science Journalists held in San Francisco, Pallab Ghosh reported on the coverage of gene editing:

I sometimes joke that I’ve been a science journalist so long that I covered the extinction of the dinosaurs!

Although it’s not been quite that long – I have seen a thing or two in my time and so I’d like to offer a brief historical perspective as well as some observations on how gene editing is being reported in the UK.

So on that first

This is the website of the UK’s bestselling tabloid newspaper – The Sun.

GENE GENIE Embryos edited to remove killer mutation like the one that nearly killed Fabrice Muamba in world first — and it could save MILLIONS

Fabrice Muamba is a young English ex-soccer player who suffered a cardiac arrest during a televised match between Bolton and Tottenham Hotspur. He recovered despite his heart having stopped for 78 minutes. 

It’s from August 4 and you can see it reports on the work of Dr Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University and colleagues on the removal of a gene from an early stage human embryo associated with a rare heart condition.

Panel discussion: A conversation on truth, science and journalism - Thursday 2 November 2017, London

Truth is in the spotlight -- there’s much debate about how to find it and whether it still carries weight in our society. Media covering UK and US politics have lamented how truth is being sacrificed to misinformation, myth, spin or outright lies. During the US pre-election period, publishers from the Guardian to the New York Times to NPR pushed their fact-checking services. The need to tackle fake news then captured the attention of major social media players like Facebook.

Journalism is reflecting hard on how to adapt to deal with what’s seen as the era of post-truth, and science commentators have lamented how evidence is being sacrificed to spin and fake news.

Researchers sometimes wonder if they should, or even could, start broadcasting or writing about science. Is it possible to take leave of the lab and become a science communicator?

This was the question uppermost in the minds of science postdocs at Queen’s this month when they gathered to hear what a panel of experienced science journalists had to say about what they do and how they had first entered the field.

The workshop, organised jointly by the Irish Science and Technology Journalists’ Association (ISTJA) and the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) and hosted by the Centre for Experimental Medicine at Queen’s, had an impressive line up of writers and broadcasters, all ready to share their knowledge and give the postdocs tips on how to carve out a niche in the highly competitive world of communications.

Andy Extance reports back on the ABSW Media Law training and asks for your thoughts on further training for ABSW members:

The ABSW media law training course had 12 attendees on Monday (25 September 2017) from an interesting cross-section of our membership - as far afield as York and Exeter (me), and with backgrounds ranging from staffers whose publications recognised the value group bargaining can provide to freelancers topping up their knowledge. Among many interesting points, two stuck out for me: 

A libel case verdict this month involving a French aerospace engineer seems to have put the UK libel law back to as bad as it was before it was changed in 2013. The case sees the judge's verdict on the new test for 'serious harm' that was added in the reformed Defamation Act say that libel claimants need not actually prove that any serious harm was caused. See more at the Press Gazette.

Organised by Queen’s University Centre for Experimental Medicine PDC, in association with Irish Science and Technology Journalism Association (ISTJA) and Association of British Science Writers (ABSW). Free entry to Queen’s University students and staff, and members of ISTJA and ABSW.

Location: Basement Seminar Room, The Wellcome Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine, Queen's University, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast. Please fill in this form to register for the event.

 

Date and time: 19 October 2017, 12:30-17:30 

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