Science journalism sometimes is criticised because it contains exaggerations about the potential of specific research results. This can happen, for example, when journalistic coverage states or implies that a drug that works in animals will also work in humans before this is tested, or when unsound science is covered without information about its limitations. Journalists, press officers at universities and publishers, and researchers often point to each other as the culprit. In what has been dubbed the ‘cycle of hype’, all parties involved have their own motives for communicating about science that go beyond simply informing the public (e.g. profit or visibility).
In this session, three researchers will discuss their perspectives and study findings about science journalism, highlighting the complexities of the (international) circulation of science news and shedding more light on pitfalls and their solutions. In the second part of the session, there will be a joint discussion between the audience and the speakers, gaining insights from all three parties involved (researchers, journalists, and press officers) to feed future research and promote better science coverage in the media.
Elisa Nelissen (KU Leuven)
Sofie Verkest (Gent University)
Anne Dijkstra (University Twente)
Annemarie Kerkhoff (Auris, science writer)