Navigation Links
IU professor's new textbook uses the best science writing from the New York Times
Date:6/15/2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- For decades, The New York Times has been one of the nation's premier outlets for stories about science.

Now, a retired Indiana University journalism professor has put many of those stories together in a unique collection aimed at students of science writing.

Though intended for the classroom, Discover magazine blogger Carl Zimmer, and a contributor to the volume, has written that the collection, The New York Times Reader -- Science and Technology (Congressional Quarterly Press), is an anthology of science writing "that can stand on its own."

Lead author S. Holly Stocking, a professor emeritus of journalism at IU and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said the book also may benefit scientists who find explaining their research to be a challenge.

"There are a lot of scientists out there who really want to see their science get across to the public and don't know how to do it. This collection should get them started," Stocking added.

Produced with the full cooperation of the New York Times, the collection contains nearly 50 science stories from fields covered regularly by the paper -- including biology, physics, medicine, astronomy, psychology, environmental and science.

They include news stories about emerging discoveries and scientific meetings, explanatory features, narrative interviews, Q-and-As, profiles, trend and issue stories, extended narratives, reviews, personal essays, columns and blogposts.

"The ideas was to create a reader of the kinds of stories that don't always appear in commercial collections of science and nature writing, but that model common narrative paths taken by science writers in a variety of media," Stocking said.

The Reader assumes that good writers are good readers -- it includes many pointers for reading in ways that can help writers new to science writing learn how to structure their stories. Checklists and annotated stories also offer tips for explaining science and technology clearly and engagingly, without hype or distortion -- as do five New York Times writers interviewed for the book -- Natalie Angier, Denise Grady, Amy Harmon, Dennis Overbye and Andrew Revkin.

Stocking regards the collection as a kind of "legacy" project built on more than two decades of teaching science writing at IU and prior work as a journalist at the Los Angeles Times, the Minneapolis Tribune and other media outlets. She hopes the book will help the next generation of science writers -- wherever their work appears, in a newspaper, magazine, blog or elsewhere.

"The need for responsible science writing has never been greater," Stocking said. "Science has important implications for all of us -- for individuals' health and wellbeing, for relationships between groups and nations, for the environment, for our appreciation of our place in the cosmos, and for so many other things.

"But many people in the public tend to see scientific claims as just more political claims. Sometimes they are, but that's all the more reason why those who communicate about science need to do it in such a way that it promotes public understanding," she said.

She adds that both scientists and journalists are needed to sort out the wheat from the chaff for a public that can grow confused by or frustrated with claims that conflict with one another or that clash with their own beliefs and understandings.

That the volume arrives during a time of major upheaval for traditional media -- and a round of losses of science and environmental writers from major media, including The Times -- may strike some as a puzzle. But Stocking sees much of the gloom-and-doom in an historical light.

"There is a lot of hand-wringing in science writing circles right now, it's true. But you heard the same sorts of things from magazine editors when television came along," Stocking said.

"Magazines survived for a very long time, just in a different form, and unless I'm wildly wrong, science writing too is going to survive, even if it assumes a different guise.

"The United States still spends more money on research and development than any other country in the world, and investments in science are growing by leaps and bounds in other countries, so science writing isn't going to die any time soon."

Whatever the future holds for science writing, science writing educators have heralded the collection as a unique and valuable resource in the field of science communication.

Deborah Blum, a past president of the National Association of Science Writers, a Pulitzer Prize winner and co-editor of The Field Guide for Science Writers, has called the book "really the perfect combination: work by some of the best science journalists in the world analyzed by one of the most respected experts in the field of science communication."

Susanna Hornig Priest, editor of the journal Science Communication, wrote that "this collection -- created by one of the most thoughtful and insightful journalism academics around -- reminds us of what we stand to lose if we lose track of the importance of connecting science to society."


'/>"/>

Contact: George Vlahakis
gvlahaki@indiana.edu
812-855-0846
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. 2 professors at UC Riverside receive Guggenheim Fellowships
2. Antifreeze proteins can stop ice melting, Queens professors find
3. K-State plant pathology professor awarded international professorship for Latin America
4. Kent State University professors focus research on the environment with grants totaling $890,000
5. NSF awards Life in Transition grants to University of Oklahoma professors
6. Study by NTU professors provides important insight into apoptosis or programmed cell death
7. 2 Alexander von Humboldt professorships go to LMU Munich
8. National Science Foundation grants Clemson professors award to develop nanoprobes
9. LSU professors work to improve efficiency of ethanol fuel
10. Rewrite the textbooks: Transcription is bidirectional
11. Novel publishing approach puts textbook in more hands
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
IU professor's new textbook uses the best science writing from the New York Times
(Date:6/15/2016)... 2016 Transparency Market Research ... Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size Share ... the report, the  global gesture recognition market  was ... is estimated to grow at a CAGR of ... Increasing application of gesture recognition technology ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... , June 3, 2016 ... Management) von Nepal ... und Lieferung hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, ... führend in der Produktion und Implementierung von ... der Ausschreibung im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... June 1, 2016 Favorable Government ... Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System ... released TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics Market ... Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics ... 2021, on account of growing security concerns across various ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... - FACIT has announced the creation of a ... Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the Company"), to ... of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment of ... an exciting class of therapies, possessing the potential ... patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition ... harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams ... New York City . The ... projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong ... senior curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, ... 1 clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, ... and multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess ... of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... either as a single dose (ranging from 45 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Pleasant Prairie, WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, ... ... sciences consultancy focused on quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free ... webinar is presented on July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: