Public Engagement with Science
As international science journalists meet in London for the sixth World Congress of Science Journalists, Geoff Watts examines progress towards greater public engagement with science.
He talks about the issues facing the profession with editor of New Scientist magazine, Roger Highfield, and director of the Science Media Centre, Fiona Fox, who was also one of the organisers of the Congress. Some of the questions they discuss are whether all science journalists should have a science degree, and the role of science journalists in the reporting of controversial issues such as the MMR vaccine debate.
Geoff interviews Fred Kavli, one of the new entrepreneurs who have put much of their wealth back into science and technology. Fred trained as a physicist in his native Norway and is now in his early 80s. He made his money in the US in companies that make sensors. His most recent venture has been to found the Kavli Prizes, which are intended to complement those of his better-known Scandinavian predecessor, Alfred Nobel.
Goeff also talks to a prize-winning science fiction writer, Paul McAuley, who also worked as a scientist for more than a decade. They discuss the role of science fiction in giving the public an image of science fact.