|This article may need to be rewritten entirely to comply with Wikipedia's quality standards. (August 2011)|
Science journalism conveys reporting about science to the public. The field typically involves interactions between scientists, journalists, and the public.
Aim of science journalism
Science values detail, precision, the impersonal, the technical, the lasting, facts, numbers and being right. Journalism values brevity, approximation, the personal, the colloquial, the immediate, stories, words and being right now. There are going to be tensions.— Quentin Cooper, of BBC Radio 4’s Material World, 
The aim of a science journalist is to render the very detailed, specific, and often jargon-laden information produced by scientists into a form that non-scientists can understand and appreciate, while still communicating the information accurately. One way science journalism can achieve this is by avoiding an information deficit model of communication. This model assumes a top-down, one-way direction of communicating information that limits an open dialogue between knowledge holders and the public.
Science journalists often do not have training in the scientific disciplines that they cover. Some have earned a degree in a scientific field before becoming journalists or exhibited talent in writing about science subjects. However, good preparation for interviews and even deceptively simple questions such as "What does this mean to the people on the street?" can often help a science journalist develop material that is useful for the intended audience.
Status of science journalism
With budget cuts at major newspapers and other media, there are fewer working science journalists working for traditional print and broadcast media than before. In 1989, the number of newspapers with weekly science sections was 95. By January 2013, that number was down to 19, according to the Columbia Journalism Review. Similarly, there are currently very few journalists in traditional media outlets that write multiple articles on emerging science, such as nanotechnology.
In 2011, there were 459 journalists who had written a newspaper article covering nanotechnology. When the data was narrowed down to those journalists who wrote about the topic more than 25 times in the year, the number fell to 7.
The fact that newspapers are cutting science sections at a higher rate probably has more to do with simple economics than anything else. Following the personal-computer boom of the 1980s, science reporting enjoyed a kind of heyday, one fueled by computer companies with money to spend on newspaper ads. For years, those ads supported robust science sections in the nation’s newspapers, but by the 1990s, as ad revenue migrated from print to the Web, newspaper companies began to funnel their dwindling resources into more broadly accessible sections.
Over the years, many science sections have folded into sections that include reporting on health, medicine and general wellness—all topics with a broader reader base than specific scientific topics like physics or astronomy. The ramifications of that shift are that older reporters trained in specialized scientific areas were pressured to take buyouts from newspapers looking to trim their staffs. There is a concern that more science reporting is being done by writers who don’t have a solid background in science.
Specialized science reporting has been cut back, similar to the trend with specialized arts coverage. In January 2012, just a week after The Daily Climate reported that worldwide coverage of climate change continued a three-year slide in 2012—and that among the five largest U.S. dailies, the Times published the most stories and had the biggest increase in coverage, the New York Times announced it was dismantling its environmental desk and merging its journalists with other departments. According to the Times, the change was prompted by the shifting interdisciplinary landscape of news reporting. When the desk was created in early 2009, the environmental beat was largely seen as "singular and isolated." It was pre-fracking and pre-economic collapse.
"Today, environmental stories are partly business, economic, national or local, among other subjects," said a NYT representative. "They are more complex and require people working on the different desks that can cover different parts of the story." Beth Parke, executive director of the Society of Environmental Journalists, said that while solid environmental coverage doesn't always require a dedicated team, the Times' decision is "worrying." "Dedicated teams bring strength and consistency to the task of covering environment-related issues," she said. "It's always a huge loss to see them dismantled ... It's not necessarily a weakening to change organizational structure, but it does seem to be a bad sign."
News coverage on science by traditional media outlets, like newspapers, magazines, radio, and news broadcasts is being replaced by online sources. In April 2012, the New York Times was awarded two Pulitzer Prizes for content published by Politico and The Huffington Post, both online sources - a sign of the platform shift by the media outlet.
New communication environments provide essentially unlimited information on a large number of issues, which can be obtained anywhere and with relatively limited effort. The web also offers opportunities for citizens to connect with others through social media and other 2.0-type tools to make sense of this information.
Young writers looking to pursue the field are finding more opportunities now than ever online with websites, science blogs and specialty publications such as Wired magazine. "After a lot of hand wringing about the newspaper industry about six years ago, I take a more optimistic view these days,” said Cristine Russell, president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. “The world is online. Science writers today have the opportunity to communicate not just with their audience but globally.” 
Blog-based science reporting is filling in to some degree, but has problems of its own.
||This article duplicates the scope of other articles, specifically, John Bohannon#Misleading chocolate study. (June 2015)|
In 2015, John Bohannon produced a deliberately bad study to see how a low-quality open access publisher and the media would pick up their findings. He worked with a film-maker Peter Onneken who was making a film about junk science in the diet industry with fad diets becoming headline news despite terrible study design and almost no evidence.
Bohannon designed a deliberately bad study with a small sample size, many variables that naturally fluctuate in participants, and a statistician told to deliberately "massage the data" using overfitting and p-hacking. The study's sample size was tiny, measuring 18 different measurements from only 15 participants, who were split into three groups. The GP running the study sums up his dislike of food pseudoscience as a "religion" that teaches “Bitter chocolate tastes bad, therefore it must be good for you.” Two thirds of the participants were female, and natural weight changes due to menstrual cycles were greater than the observed difference between chocolate and low-carb groups. The group who were assigned to the "control" were not asked what their diet contained.
He invented a fake "diet institute" that lacks even a website, and used the pen name, "Johannes Bohannon," a name that does not have any publications or appear on any website. Bohannon fabricated a press release which was picked up on the front cover of German tabloid Bild, as well as "the Daily Star, the Irish Examiner, Cosmopolitan’s German website, the Times of India, both the German and Indian site of the Huffington Post, and even television news in Texas and an Australian morning talk show."
The few journalists who contacted the scientist, asked puff piece questions and no reporter published how many subjects were tested, or quoted independent researchers. Most outlets sought to maximise page views by including "vaguely pornographic images of women eating chocolate." He argues that diet fads are covered like gossip columnists "echoing whatever they find in press releases" rather than evaluating the accuracy of scientific papers.
Bohannon argues that because of the large number of factors in diet and lifestyle, large scale studies are frequently inconclusive, even when billions of dollars have been spent on well designed studies by government agencies that label obesity an epidemic.
Types of science journalism
There are many different examples of science writing. A few examples include:
Notable science journalists
- Natalie Angier, a science journalist for The New York Times
- Philip Ball English science writer
- Christopher Bird
- David Bodanis, known for his microphotographic style
- David Bradley (UK journalist)
- Deborah Byrd, of the Earth & Sky radio series
- Nigel Calder
- Marcus Chown
- Wilson da Silva
- Claudia Dreifus
- David Ewing Duncan
- Gregg Easterbrook
- Kitty Ferguson
- Timothy Ferris, science writer, most often on astronomical topics
- Albrecht Fölsing
- Ben Goldacre
- Gina Kolata, science journalist for The New York Times.
- Robert Kunzig
- Duncan Lunan
- Bob McDonald, Canadian science journalist, host of Quirks & Quarks
- Chris Mooney, science journalist and author
- Michelle Nijhuis
- Dennis Overbye of The New York Times
- David Quammen, science, nature and travel writer
- Matt Ridley, science journalist and author, columnist at the Wall Street Journal
- Kirsten Sanford
- Rebecca Skloot
- Meredith Small
- Robyn Williams
- Carl Zimmer
- Omar AL-Hayani Yemen- Magazine Scientific Editor of Communications and Information Technologies.
Writer in ALJAZEERA.net web site.
Science journalists regularly come under criticism for falsely reporting scientific stories. Very often, such as with climate change, this leaves the public with the impression that disagreement within the scientific community is much greater than it actually is. Science is based on experimental evidence, testing and not dogma, and disputation is a normal activity.
One reason science journalists appear to disagree is that science journalists can begin as either a scientist or a journalist and transition to the other. Science is communication of how the world works. Journalists who become scientists are more likely to find their information based on what’s new in the topic field. Journalists without a background and expertise in the topic about which they write have a more limited amount of knowledge to communicate.
One area in which science journalists seem to support varying sides of an issue is in risk communication. Science journalists may choose to highlight the amount of risk that studies have uncovered while others focus more on the benefits depending on audience and framing.
- Columbia Journalism Review
- False balance
- Frontiers of Science, defunct illustrated comic strip
- MATTER, (magazine)
- Popular science
- Public awareness of science
- Science by press conference
- Scientific literature
- "Emma Reh (1896-1982)". Smithsonian Institution Archives. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
- "Science and the media – an uncomfortable fit By Sallie Robbins". London: Blogs.independent.co.uk. 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- Zara, Christopher. "Remember Newspaper Science Sections? They’re Almost All Gone". International Business Times. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- Dudo, A. D., Dunwoody, S., & Scheufele, D. A. (2011). "The emergence of nano news: Tracking thematic trends and changes in U.S. newspaper coverage of nanotechnology". Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly (88): 55–75.
- Fischer, Douglas. "Climate coverage, dominated by weird weather, falls further in 2012". Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- "MEDIA COVERAGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE/GLOBAL WARMING". Center for Science and Technology Policy Research.
- Bagley, Katherine. "http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20130111/new-york-times-dismantles-environmental-desk-journalism-fracking-climate-change-science-global-warming-economy". Inside Climate News. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- Zara, Christopher. "Remember Newspaper Science Sections? They’re Almost All Gone". International Business Times. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "Unpopular Science", by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum, The Nation, Aug. 17, 2009
- John Bohannon. "I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How.". Io9.
- "Bad science | Science". London: The Guardian. 27 July 2007. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- Zivkovic, Bora."The Line Between Science and Journalism is Getting Blurry Again","Science Progress", 21 December 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Science journalists.|
- Indian Science Communication Society
- European Union of Science Journalists' Associations
- National Association of Science Writers (USA)
- Northwest Science Writers Association (Pacific Northwest, USA)
- Association of British Science Writers
- Canadian Science Writers' Association
- Arab Science Journalists Association[dead link]
- Union of Italian Science Journalists (UGIS, Unione Giornalisti Italiani Scientifici)
- World Federation of Science Journalists
- SWIM - Science Writers in Italy
- TELI - German Science Writers
- Knight Science Journalism Tracker[dead link] at MIT
- EFSJ - European Federation for Science Journalism