Science Online 2011 – Death to Obfuscation and Rebooting Science Journalism

By Ed Yong | March 18, 2011 10:59 am

I finally downloaded my recordings from the ScienceOnline 2011 conference that I attended back in January. Here are a couple of sessions for your listening pleasure. These were recorded using my Livescribe pen so the audio is passable if not brilliant.

The first is the Death to Obfuscation workshop, featuring Carl Zimmer and myself. It’s on writing about science for a broad audience, who isn’t obliged to read your stuff. We consider basic elements and pitfalls that writers need to consider, from the level of individual words and sentences, to paragraphs and pieces. The audio’s a bit tinny because the pen was near a projector and the audience questions are a bit muffled, but you can hear pretty much everything that Carl and I are saying. I’ve cut out a bit near the end with a written exercise because the sound of 70 people writing for 5 minutes isn’t particularly gripping.

The second recording comes from a session on online science journalism, asking whether it’s better or merely different. With me on the panel were arch-writers Virginia Hughes, David Dobbs, John Rennie and Steve Silberman. We flitted through a wide variety of topics. It’s worth it just to listen to John’s passionate rabble-rousing speech somewhere in the middle.


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