The newly named Chief Scientific Adviser of the European Commission, professor Anne Glover, will take part in the panel of the PCST Conference in Florence on Science Media Centres organised and moderated by Swim President Fabio Turone, that will address the issue of bad coverage of scientific controversies in the general press and the possible countermeasures that can be adopted, and specifically on the results obtained by the British Science Media Centre in its first ten years of activity, characterised by considering itself at the service of the science journalism profession.
Along with Professor Anne Glover, the panel will see the presence of Fiona Fox, director of the UK Science Media Centre, Charlotte Wien, researcher from the University of Southern Denmark, and Morten Busch, head of the project for a Danish Science Media Centre at the Experimentarium in Copenhagen.
The panel will be on Thursday from 14:30 to 15:45
Mad Cow Disease, Franken-Food and Killer Vaccines: this sensationalistic approach to scientific controversies typical of British tabloids – but often a prerogative also of more serious and respected media – caused in recent years a long-term damage not only to the image of science, but also to health policy and science research itself.
The first ten years of activity of the UK Science Media Centre have shown that authoritative and independent scientific sources can be helped not to shy away from media storms, so that they can timely and effectively intervene in the debate about sensitive issues by establishing a relationship with representatives of the media in an open and collaborative climate during and especially between media crises.
Now an international network of such centres has taken impulse from the successful British experience and has started operating to build trust and dialogue between the scientific community and the media, knowing that each country will pose specific challenges but a coordinated network can be useful on several accounts, as it was the case with the emergency following the nuclear accident at the Fukushima plant, in Japan. The panel will discuss the Science Media Centres model, its strenghts and its weaknesses from the point of view of the proponents and of the professionals working in science communication and in the media.