Science Journalism Events at AMNH, AAAS

I don’t generally announce upcoming science journalism events, mostly because my readership is spread out across the country. I might get in the habit, though, and now seems as good a time as any to begin because there are a couple all-star discussions happening in New York and Chicago this week.

The first, which I’ll be writing more about tomorrow, will take place Tuesday night at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan where the topic will be how the media coverage affects public understanding of climate change. The panel will include New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin, ABC News reporter Bill Blakemore, Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media editor Bud Ward, American University professor Matthew Nisbet, and former CNN producer Diane Hawkins-Cox. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Kaufmann Theater; tickets are $15.

Two other events will take place Friday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago. Cristine Russell, the president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing and a CJR contributing editor, will moderate a symposium titled “Hot and Hotter: Media Coverage of Climate-Change Impacts, Policies, and Politics.” Speakers will include the Yale Forum’s Ward, Christian Science Monitor reporter Peter Spotts, BBC correspondent Pallab Ghosh, White House science advisor nominee John Holdren, and Stanford University climatologist Stephen Schneider. The event begins at 10:30 a.m.

At 4 p.m. that afternoon, Pulitzer prize-winning science journalist Deborah Blum will moderate a press briefing organized by the World Conference of Science Journalists (which will hold its meeting in London in June). Responding to CNN’s elimination of its entire science and technology team and similar newsrooms cuts around the world, speakers will weigh in on whether or not science journalism is in a state “crisis.” Panelists include Russell and Ghosh from the earlier event, as well as Arab Science Journalists Association president Nadia El-Awady (whom I interviewed for CJR last year) and Wall Street Journal reporter Robert Lee Hotz.

Given the Obama administration’s commitment to “restore science to its rightful place” paired with the inauspicious deterioration of science reporting at mainstream news publications around the country, all of the above events are bound to produce interesting conversations. If you happen to catch any one of them, please weigh in with your impressions, observations, and comments.

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Curtis Brainard writes on science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.