Field of Science

Panel at the Canadian Science Writer's meeting

I've been invited to the annual meeting of the Canadian Science Writers Association, starting next Friday in Calgary.  I'll be participating in the Opening Panel, titled  Better Adjust Your Set (Friday, June 10, 12:30 – 2 p.m., MacEwan Student Centre Ballroom (3rd Floor) University of Calgary).

  • Moderator:  Penny Park
  • Rosalind Reid
  • Christie Nicholson
  • Jasmine Antonick
  • Jay Ingram
  • Rosie Redfield
Here's the info I have about it: 
The Friday afternoon opening panel is really meant to be as much of a dialogue as possible with conference delegates. So we're looking for about five to seven minutes of opening remarks from each panelist, then brief comments from the panelists on what the other panelists had to say, then right into a moderated (and hopefully lively!) discussion with the delegates.
 We're having a conference call this afternoon to sort out what we're going to say in our opening remarks.  We're asked to address the following, so here are my preliminary ideas:

-- some of the trends (positive and negative) we see in science communications;
  • Positive:  increasing openness of scientific research (informally and formally)
  • Negative:  public suspicion of science stirred up by media, politicians and cranks
-- what has been the big change in science communications during the last five to 10 years?;
  •  Access:  Papers are all online, often open-access.   Blogs and tweets = accessible to the public.
-- what's the future for science journalists in newspapers? Magazines?
  • That market is small and getting smaller.  The best science writing now is free.
-- advice for young people considering a career as a science communicator?
  •  look outside of conventional media.  Look where the money is?  Where can you get paid to write about science without being corrupted by your paymasters?
-- opportunities/trends for freelancers in science communications?
  •   look outside of conventional media
-- what's the one thing that could be done/that could happen which would really improve prospects for science communicators?
  • Improve their prospects of making a living?  I don't have any sensible ideas.

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