13. Description of the core message of your event and key topics to be covered (c.100 words):
This event encourages participants to join a panel of scientists, science journalists and commentators to see how science stories are handled by experienced science writers. Panel speakers will consider how the media interacts with scientists, discussing some of the best, strangest and toughest stories to report on. In science reporting accurate evidence-based information is essential, particularly around controversial stories, and confusion and misinformation in public discussion can have serious impacts on public behaviour and understanding around an issue (MMR vaccine, GM foods). The panel will discuss the role of ‘balance’ in scientific reporting: Should an argument always be given a 50:50 hearing in debates, even if the weight of evidence and scientific consensus leans towards one side? The speakers will also consider the role of science journalism in the rapidly changing world of news media, letting us in on their predictions for the future of the profession. Key topics include investigating how science stories are presented in the media and seeing how science news makes it from lab to page.