A lively and diverse crowd turned out for the Sept. 26 Simplifying Science panel in Albuquerque. The McCorkle Conference Room at the TVC Center (really the UNM Student Center on Cesar Chavez and University Drive) was packed with journalists, scientists and information specialists.
There were a lot of thought-provoking questions for our 8 panelists and great responses from them. Perhaps the finest journalist idea came from Albuquerque Journal science reporter John Fleck who suggested what is needed is a “slow journalism” movement (ala the slow food movement). Take a step back, he said, and remember it took years for a scientific breakthrough, six months more for the research paper to be peer reviewed and published. Don’t be in a rush to publish a news story about the research paper because the story is more likely to be wrong, Fleck suggested. “Breaking news” in science is different from other types of breaking news. Scientists seemed to agree with him on the point.
Several people asked for another scientist and journalist event. Check back with your SPJ chapter for the next one, to be held in Santa Fe or Los Alamos.