Tag Archives: connie st louis

Journalists ‘need to be champions of evidence not just speculation’, says head of new Science Journalism MA

Last night celebrated the launch of City University’s new Science Journalism MA; its first students had front row seats for the libel debate featuring, among others, science journalist Simon Singh and blogger/doctor, Ben Goldacre.

Around 75 per cent of the students come from science backgrounds, its course leader Connie St. Louis, a former BBC journalist, told Journalism.co.uk.  Science, health, medicine and environment are on the front pages more than ever, she said.

“This MA is designed to fill the gap between poor reporting and good reporting – to make sure the journalists for the future are multi-skilled, well informed, can negotiate science papers and understand the process of science and become champions of evidence not just speculation.

It’s ‘essentially unravelling of the scientific process’ she said.

But, added St. Louis, she is not keen on scientists replacing journalists as the purveyors of scientific news: “I think there’s a danger when scientists themselves report the news. I think the role of journalist as the adjudicator and the person who understands, interprets and contextualises the story is incredibly important.”

New science journalism MA at City University aims to make students ‘critical consumers of scientific information’

The accuracy and standard of science journalism in the UK is increasingly scrutinised online – just take a look at the Bad Science blog network for evidence of that. How can journalists become better equipped to report science? Would more specialised journalistic training help?

A new MA in science journalism at City University in London is designed in response to a ‘rapidly expanding vein of journalism,’ according to the course outline. During the course, a result of ‘consultation with the UK’s leading science journalists and scientists,’ students will be taught to be ‘critical consumers of scientific information’.

The course will be led by Connie St. Louis, a former BBC science journalist. Potential students are promised ‘a range of opportunities’ to report on science, health, environment, technology and food.