B1) Covering Scientific Controversies

Saturday, October 15th, 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Wettaw Auditorium
Brian Vastag
Gary Taubes
Jeanne Lenzer
Jennifer Kahn
Christie Aschwanden
Christie Aschwanden

This session will focus on approaches to covering scientific controversies. Where do you begin when the science is in dispute? How do you sift through massive data sets and dueling arguments on deadline? How do you know who you can trust? How do you distinguish crackpots from legitimate contrarians? How can you cover a controversy without falling into the he said/she said trap? We'll also discuss the journalist's role in scientific controversies. This discussion will be broken into three sections: data triage, evidence assessment and finding and vetting sources. We'll end with a discussion of the journalist's role in scientific controversies. Before the conference, go to http://sciencefeuds.wordpress.com for resource materials and interviews with our panelists.