ScienceWriters2020: Highlights for Editors Too


As professional societies continued holding gatherings electronically because of the coronavirus pandemic, October 2020 brought an abundance of online offerings for science editors and others working in the communication of science. There were the Council of Science Editors Fall Virtual Symposium and the American Medical Writers Association 2020 Medical Writing and Communication Conference. And also, there was ScienceWriters2020. Held jointly by the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW), the annual ScienceWriters meeting includes workshops on the communication of science and briefings on current scientific research. The current report presents highlights of several ScienceWriters2020 science communication workshops, with emphasis on content that may especially interest science editors and those in related realms. How Does Your Institution #scicomm? By Christina B Sumners The impetus for this session was a survey Kelly Tyrrell and Sara Zaske, two NASW members, sent journalists and institutional science writers. One major issue they explored was the relative effectiveness of a centralized versus decentralized approach to science communication: in other words, whether each unit in an organization had a communications person or all communications were run top-down from one office. They found that either structure can work and there is little relationship to the institution’s effectiveness at sharing science stories with reporters. However, about 40% of science writers working at institutions said their organization can do better at sharing information with the public and news media. Science writers at 3 universities shared how their institutions’ communications function. Each […]

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