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Science journalism – dominated by white males

More Inclusive Science Journalism Is Better Science Journalism, Undark, 25 Oct 19 By expanding our pool of storytellers, we produce work that more fully reflects how science is done and why it matters.   THIS YEAR, as in the past, the Nobel Prize’s science awards overwhelmingly went to white men. Nine of the 12 laureates in chemistry, physics, physiology or medicine, and economics were white men from North America or Europe, and only one was female. Many commenters noted the gender imbalance. Fewer pointed out the racial and ethnic imbalance. Although the skewed distribution of this year’s laureates doesn’t reflect the reality of today’s scientific workforce, it does drive public perception of what a scientist looks like………

I’m also learning from my students. And here’s what they’ve shown me: More inclusive science journalism is better journalism. When we expand our pool of storytellers and broaden our horizons beyond the kinds of stories we’ve long told, we will produce work that more fully reflects the spectrum of how science is done and why it matters to society.

Indeed, I’ve already seen this in the time that I’ve directed the UC Santa Cruz program, which trains 10 young science writers each year. As a first step toward diversifying the field of science journalism, our program has worked to recruit a more diverse corps of science writing students. Our recent classes have included students of color; students from underrepresented communities; lesbian, gay, and bisexual students; nonbinary students; and students from all over the U.S. and the rest of the world.

All of our incoming students are required to have science degrees and research experience. So my students have often experienced the inequities that frequently hamper the careers of female scientists and scientists of color. And they’ve seen that science journalism too often takes its cues from science: We tend to cover the topics and people that powerful and influential scientists themselves say are noteworthy. This perpetuates the very forces that distort science to begin with.

October 28, 2019 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, media

1 Comment »

  1. also dominated by people whose paycheks come from nucleoapes and warmongers

    Comment by doug | October 28, 2019 | Reply

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