An energetic science journalism community is crucial for the world, the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science has said.
"We are living in the best of scientific times. The world badly needs a vibrant science journalism community," Alan Leshner said during his presentation at the World Conference of Science Journalists 2011 in Doha.
People may claim to know what science is, but most of them have no idea of the real concept of the subject, Leshner said, Qatar Tribune reported on Wednesday.
Citing a survey on people's knowledge about scientific research conducted in the US and Europe, he said that "about 70 to 90 percent of the people in the US believe that the benefits of science outweigh its disadvantages."
"In Europe, over 80 percent of the population said science and technology improve quality of life. But people still have little understanding of what science is."
Leshner also identified building science capacity and national policies that reflect the best science necessary for countries to prosper and to maintain the appropriate science-society relationship.
The session titled ‘Am I a Science Journalist?' delved into the definition of a science journalist and the panelists discussed whether the term ‘journalist' was appropriate for science bloggers and educators in the field.
Homayoun Kheyri, a freelancer for BBC World Service, put more emphasis on the role of science journalists.
"Science journalists help bridge the gap between the scientists and the people," he said, quoted by the daily.
According to freelance journalist Cristine Russell, labelling a journalist as ‘science journalist' was not a big issue.
The issue is whether the goal of journalism has been met by calling the person a ‘science journalist', she said.
Russell, who has written about science, health and environment for over three decades, stressed the practice of responsible journalism.
"The goal of journalism has not changed. It is not about the question of the name. The goal should be the same. We should also think about practising journalism. We need to get science journalists from their theoretical desks to the practical field," she said.
From / Gulf News