Scientists and the Press

JAMES SPURGIN jspurgin at acs.unt.edu
Mon Nov 7 16:03:20 EST 1994


In article <Cy6GLE.BEx at news.cern.ch> secret at www5.cern.ch (Arthur Secret) writes:
>From: secret at www5.cern.ch (Arthur Secret)
>Subject: Scientists and the Press
>Keywords: Science, Media, Questionnaire
>Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 12:41:38 GMT
>
>
>                   ***************************
>                   *  SCIENCE AND THE MEDIA  *
>                   ***************************
>
>
>On 26 November at the end of the second European Week for Scientific 
>Culture, journalists and researchers will meet at CERN to discuss 
>the coverage of science in the Media. This conference will be 
>addressed by top editors, journalists, scientists and politicians.
>
>To avoid polite but fruitless theorizing, we would like to have the 
>points of view of as many scientists as possible. Can you help us by
>answering some questions?
>Your first reaction being the most valuable, use Dylan's constant 
>(Don't think twice, it's all right). If you have colleagues with 
>strong feelings on the subject, kindly forward them the 
>questionnaire, to be e-mailed back by November 10 to 
>Science.Press at cern.ch .
>
>For more info contact Neil_Calder at macmail.cern.ch
>
>To answer, just write an X before your choice (multiple answers
>allowed); on open questions, start writing on the line of the open 
>selection. Then, send back the edited text to Science.Press at cern.ch .
>
>Example:
> X   1a Europe
>
>    2i others (which) my pet
>
>
>
>1. NATIONALITY
>
>  1A. WHICH CONTINENT ARE YOU WORKING IN?
>
>    1a Europe
>    1b America
>    1c Asia
>    1d Australasia
>
>  1B.  WHAT IS YOUR NATIONALITY?
>
>
>2. YOUR SOURCES OF GENERAL INFORMATION
>
>    2a TV
>    2b radio
>    2c daily newspaper
>    2d weekly magazines
>    2e monthly magazines
>    2f books
>    2g cyberspace (which network)
>    2h family, friends, colleagues
>    2i others (which)
>
>
>3. THE PRESS, WHAT FOR?
>
>    3a cartoons
>    3b weather forecast
>    3c politics
>    3d international news
>    3e tv programmes
>    3f science reports 
>    3g stock exchange
>    3h serial murders
>    3i sports page
>    3j others (which)
>
>
>4. YOU FIND MOST RELIABLE
>
>    4a local news
>    4b world news
>    4c politics
>    4d economics
>    4e sports
>    4f science
>    4g horoscope
>    4h others (which)
>
>
>5. YOUR OPINION ON SCIENCE REPORTS IN THE MEDIA
>
>  5A. MOST SATISFYING FACTORS
>
>    5Aa knowledge of the specific field of research
>    5Ab good historical background
>    5Ac clear explanation of relevance
>    5Ad appropriate though simple language
>    5Ae illuminating metaphors
>    5Af your own name quoted
>    5Ag others (which)
>
>  5B. WHEN SATISFIED
>
>    5Ba you tell the journalist or editor you appreciated
>    5Bb you recommend the journalist to your colleagues
>    5Bc do nothing
>    5Bd others (which)
>
>  5C. MOST IRRITATING FACTORS
>
>    5Ca ignorance
>    5Cb copycat
>    5Cc unreliable sources
>    5Cd hype
>    5Ce misleading language
>    5Cf misprints
>    5Cg your name quoted
>    5Ch others (which)
>
>  5D. WHEN IRRITATED
>
>    5Da you write to the journalist or editor correcting the facts
>    5Db you organize a boycott of the paper or tv or radio broadcast
>    5Dc you keep cool since you expected it anyway and do nothing
>    5Dd others (which)
>
>
>6. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
>
>  6A HAVE YOU HAD PERSONAL CONTACT WITH THE SCIENTIFIC PRESS?
>
>    6Aa Yes
>    6Ab No
>
>  6B. WHY HAVE YOU BEEN IN CONTACT WITH SCIENCE JOURNALISTS?
>
>    6Ba actually, you are quite a science journalist yourself
>    6Bb for an interview on your own work
>    6Bc a judgement on a colleague's work
>    6Bd general information on your field of research
>    6Be confirmation of discoveries (Higgs boson, Bad breath vaccine,
>        and such)
>    6Bf appreciation of a fashionable theory (SUSY & sparticles, 
>        Anthropic Principle, Darwinian A-Life, Chaotic 
>        chromodynamics, and such)
>    6Bg prophecies on Nobel prize laureates
>    6Bh others (which)
>
>  6C. WERE THE RESULTS SATISFYING?
>
>    6Ca yes
>    6Cb no
>
>  6D. DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING FROM THE PROCESS?
>
>    6Da yes
>    6Db no
>
>
>7. THE MEDIA MIRROR
>
>  7A. IN THE MEDIA SCIENTISTS ARE MOSTLY DESCRIBED AS 
>
>    7Aa performing miracles
>    7Ab promising but not delivering miracles
>    7Ac practical problem solvers
>    7Ad arcane problem solvers
>    7Ae squandering public money for their toys
>    7Af unworldly beings working for the common good
>    7Ag ignorant of public needs (Ivory tower syndrome)
>    7Ah devising means of destruction for the military
>    7Ai devising means of enrichment for private -their own-  
>        business
>    7Aj suffering from an overcompetitive environment (Publish or 
>        perish syndrome)
>    7Ak others (which)
>
>  7B. ACCORDING TO YOU, JOURNALISTS PRIVATELY DESCRIBE SCIENTISTS AS
>
>    7Ba informative
>    7Bb straightforward
>    7Bc concerned
>    7Bd jargon-prone
>    7Be arrogant
>    7Bf power-hungry
>    7Bg living on a different planet
>    7Bh others (which)
>
>
>8. WHO NEEDS WHOM
>
>  8A. WHY SHOULD RESEARCHERS TALK TO THE MEDIA?
>
>    8Aa good for their career
>    8Ab to share the enjoyment and pains of research
>    8Ac to attract brilliant young minds
>    8Ad to increase public  private funding for their labs
>    8Ae to spread ideas and methods that are good for society at 
>        large
>    8Af to dispel unreasonable fears  expectations
>    8Ag because they receive taxpayers money and are accountable for
>        it
>    8Ah because their work brings changes and society should be 
>        forewarned
>    8Ai others (which)
>    8Aj they shouldn't
>
>  8B. WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING (NON) EVENT WAS MOST HARMFUL FOR THE 
>      SCIENTIST'S PUBLIC IMAGE?
>
>    8Ba cold fusion
>    8Bb no-forthcoming AIDS therapy
>    8Bc uncontrolled dissemination of uranium
>    8Bd bio-engineered human genes (Leyden University calves)
>    8Be Chernobyl
>    8Bf others (which)
>
>9. LEARNING NEW TRICKS
>
>  9A. AT YOUR WORKPLACE, ARE THERE GUIDELINES ON HOW TO MEET THE 
>      MEDIA?
>
>    9Aa yes
>    9Ab no
>
>  9B. IF NOT, SHOULD THERE BE?
>
>    9Ba yes
>    9Bb no
>
>  9C. CAN SCIENCE REPORTING BE TAUGHT?
>
>    9Ca by journalists
>    9Cb by scientists
>    9Cc by communication experts
>    9Cd by no one
>
>  9D. CAN TALKING TO THE MEDIA BE TAUGHT?
>
>    9Da by journalists
>    9Db by scientists
>    9Dc by communication experts
>    9Dd by no one
>
>
>10. WIN A FREE RIDE
>
>  10A. SUPPOSE AN EDITOR INVITED YOU TO SPEND SOME TIME AT HIS 
>       NEWSPAPER, WOULD YOU ACCEPT?
>
>    10Aa yes
>    10Ab no
>
>  10B. WHICH NEWSPAPER WOULD BE YOUR FIRST CHOICE?
>
>
>11. HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE EUROPEAN WEEK OF SCIENCE CULTURE?
>
>    11a yes
>    11b no
>
>
>
>THANK YOU!
>
>
>Results will be published on the World-Wide Web, at 
>http://info.cern.ch/SciencePress.html , the 26th of November. 
>To get them by mail, just send by that time an email to 
>listserv at info.cern.ch with the body
>SEND http://info.cern.ch/SciencePress.html
>



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