Overview: This course will focus on the practice of science journalism. Topics will include identifying newsworthy stories, finding sources, techniques of effective interviewing, story structure, and writing in the style and at the level required by journalistic outlets (newspapers, magazines, and online).
Research Skills: The Science Journalism course does not teach research techniques as such. However, every research scientist can benefit from learning to present the results of their research and its implications more clearly. This will benefit them in many ways: straightforward grant applications that are more likely to get funded; more understandable plenary presentations and seminars to broad scientific audiences; and descriptions of their research in lay language, so that the general public can understand what they are doing and why it matters.
Physical requirements: Students must be able to conduct interviews, both in person and by telephone, and use a computer. Ability to accompany other researchers on field work may be helpful, but is not necessary.
Boat Use: There will be little opportunity for students to drive boats during Science Journalism. Boat driving is not recommended for this course. Students who wish to drive boats at BMSC must hold a PCOC and valid first aid certificate and will participate in an introductory boat check-out on the first day of orientation.
Prerequisites: Third year standing
Textbook: (not required) A Field Guide for Science Writers, 2nd Ed., edited by Deborah Blum, Mary Knudson and Robin Marantz Henig. Oxford U Press, 2006. – AVAILABLE AS AN EBOOK through member university library web sites.