What is the mission of a science journalist? Entertainment? Education? Guarding democracy? That depends on your client, according to science journalist Martin Angler, author of Science journalism, an introduction (2017). If you work for a glossy magazine or free online news medium, you will probably see yourself mainly as an entertainer or educator. Employed by a critical national newspaper, you will probably see yourself mainly as a watchdog.
Category Archives: Blog Marianne Heselmans
Blog Marianne Heselmans
In January we will give four workshops Science communication at the Topinstitute Food and nutrition. In these workshops, we will show how crucial a key message is to organizing a story. Developing a key message is crucial to organizing a story.
Meanwhile, the wider story is a sketch of a future world in which all kinds of industrial bacteria, plants and animals are made with….. synthetic DNA. That new ‘synthetic’ organisms are then going to deliver us thousands of new, convenient products such as bio plastic cups and carpets, disease free plants and animals, bacteria for data storage and resurrection of the Neanderthal man.
So we get a clear impression of the results and goals of the synthetic biologists. The book serves democracy too: who is against genetic modification, has got more idea’s, names and research programs to ‘attack’. And possible negative side-effects of synthetic biology are described in detail.
But this convincing sketch of a world in which ‘nature and ourselves are reinvented’ is also the ultimate marketing for the company of George Church. The more believers in new bacteria, plants, animals and men with (only) synthetic DNA, the more synthetic DNA Gen9 is going to sell.
So what I see in Regenesis is that thorough science journalism may well support democracy and science and technology marketing. And that writing a book together with a science writer is also a good marketing idea.
On 6 th October, we will give a workshop Writing for the we for 50 ‘web-writers’ from Wageningen UR. It is only one afternoon for many attendants, so our goals are modest. However, in this blog I have space to come up with a really good example of science communication. Excellent work is now being done by the group Your wild life a group of scientists, science communicators, students and citizens based at the North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Why?