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13th of February 2019
ATNF Colloquium
Science & Journalism: Errors = Media x Confusion ^2
by Katia Moskvitch
Abstract: Whenever there is a story in the media that gets a researcher's paper horribly wrong, scientists are quick to blame the journalist. And it's true that journalists make mistakes: science is hard, and even a science journalist won't be an expert in all areas of science, let alone a regular reporter who covers politics today, sports tomorrow and science on the weekend. But when your research is misinterpreted all over the internet, it's not good for your reputation - and just as bad for the reputation of the journalist; believe it or not, most journalists actually do care about getting facts right. Some mistakes are due to press offices overhyping the research, some - to journalists not checking their facts properly, and some - to the scientists themselves who fail to work with the media in the right way. So how can we all work together to improve the quality of science journalism? Because at the end of the day, it's not just about the scientists and the media, but also about the public that often gets terribly misinformed. And it's not that difficult to make it better. This talk, hopefully, will lead to a lively discussion, so that collaboratively we can find ways of improving the quality of science journalism.

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