Live Blog: The Leveson Inquiry – what does it mean for science journalism?

The Press (Black and White)The Prime Minister announced on 13 July 2011 that there would be an inquiry into issues arising from alleged phone hacking by journalists. The wide-ranging Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the Press could have profound and fundamental consequences for UK newspapers. But how might science journalists be affected by the outcomes of the Inquiry?

Will it make high-quality science journalism harder or easier? Will science journalists be subject to better or worse regulations? The potential impacts of the Inquiry will be debated in this session by key figures with different perspectives on the role of science journalists, particularly in UK national newspapers. More information about the Inquiry can be accessed at:

Speakers: Fiona Fox, Director, Science Media Centre. David Derbyshire, freelance environment and science journalist.  Bob Satchwell, Executive Director, Society of Editors. Chair: James Randerson, Environment and Science News Editor, The Guardian.

Producer: Bob Ward, Policy and Communications Director, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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Live Blog: Narrative in Science Writing

PenHow does a good story become a great story? Tom Levenson, Richard Fisher, and Manjit Kumar take us through addictive reads, practical tips and structure of long science reads. The LiveBlog will cover it all.

We will explore the ways that a good story becomes a compelling one, an ordinary story becomes an addictive read. The panel will provide practical tips to make your writing sing and we hope to share the experiences of the members of the audience too.  In this session, you will learn how the best writers structure long-form articles to make readers get to the end; the pitfalls that lie in the way of people moving from writing short news stories to longer features; and how everyone (however good they are) feels the angst of a blank page.

Producers: Ed Yong, Freelance Science Writer, Alok Jha, Science Correspondent, The Guardian.

Chair: Alok Jha, Science Correspondent, The Guardian.

Speakers: Tom Levenson, Professor of Science Writing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Richard Fisher, feature editor, New Scientist. Manjit Kumar, journalist, editor and author (most recently of “Quantum”)

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Live Blog: Dragons’ Den – pitching the Editors

Question Mark?Three aspiring science journalists pitch their story ideas to science editors for critique. The LiveBlog will be there, covering all the action as it happens.

Meet the Dragons

Dr James Randerson is environment and science news editor at the Guardian. He was previously online environment editor and science correspondent and before that was deputy news editor at New Scientist magazine. He has a PhD in evolutionary genetics. The Guardian is a global digital media organisation and national newspaper with a liberal voice. It serves a non-specialist audience and is always in the market for science, environment and health stories that will amaze, astonish, inform and entertain our readership.

Helen Pearson runs the features section for Nature, where she has been writing and editing since 2001. She has a PhD in genetics and specialises in long form and biomedical journalism. Nature is a world-leading international journal publishing the finest peer-reviewed research in all fields of science and technology, as well as authoritative, insightful news, features and comment for the scientific community.

Ehsan Masood is the editor of Research Fortnight and has overall editorial responsibility for the ‘Research’ family of science policy publications including Research Europe. Research Fortnight was established in 1994 and is read by academics, policymakers and research managers in UK universities; as well as in government, industry and campaign groups. Ehsan also teaches international science policy at Imperial College and occasionally presents programmes for BBC Radio 4.

Producer: Rebecca Hill, freelance science writer and genetics editor at Progress Educational Trust.

Chair: Timandra Harkness, freelance science communicator.

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Live Blog: Keynote: Jay Rosen on Wicked Problems

Man in a photo frameWicked Problems? What are they, how do you understand them, and what do they mean? Here’s what’s coming up and the live blog is covering it: It’s all about framing…

“Wicked problems have these features; it is hard to say what the problem is, to define it clearly or to tell where it stops and starts,” says Rosen. “There is no “right” way to view the problem, no definitive formulation. The way it’s framed will change what the solution appears to be.”

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