There are few media outlets that devote lots of space to science writing.
Sure, we’ve got NPR and it’s award-winning reporter Michelle Trudeau and the weekly show, “Science Friday,” hosted by Ira Flatow, you have CNN’s medical, space and technology coverage by Sanjay Gupta and Miles O’Brien. And then there are the specialty magazines: American Scientist, Popular Science, Scientific American.
But science coverage for a broader audience is shrinking. Many mass media outlets have long depended on freelancers to cover science stories for them. Newspapers that devoted space to weekly science stories have junked the sections or incorporated the medical stories into their health sections. Television broadcasts pretty much only cover medical “news you can use” and sure-fire, easy to condense technology stories. Most large online websites subscribe to or have partnership deals with Imaginova, which runs LiveScience and Space.com.
Yet as we know, people online are curious. And it looks like science bloggers may be our last, best hope for up-to-date, informed science writing.
To that end, science bloggers will be gathering in Research Triangle Park, N.C. on Jan. 19 for their second annual conference.
There’s a wait list for registration, but those interested in participating online or following along can browse through the wiki.
Some of the conference topics, including discussions about how to cross-platform stories and expand interactivity, could result in useful ideas for every online site.
Meanwhile, in Britain, The Daily Telegraph and Bayer AG are accepting applications for the 21st Science Writer Awards. Deadline to apply is March 31, 2008, at midnight.
Online, the Public Library of Science, the National Science Foundation and the San Diego Supercomputer Center have beta launched SciVee, a site for scientists to publicize their findings and research. It’s a neat project, but it may take a good writer to make much of it comprehensible for layfolk.