“Science on the front line: getting good quality evidence into the news" with Fiona Fox

Past Event

17 May 2018, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

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This talk is co-hosted by the Oxford Martin School and the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, to celebrate their 20th Anniversary

For many people science in the media is lovely science stories like gravitational waves, the God particle and incredible discoveries about our natural history. But science is also to be found in messy, politicised and contentious stories like the coverage of climate-gate, Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans and rows about the safety of statins, e-cigarettes and anti-depressants. And it is essential that the wider public and policy makers have access to the best evidence when these controversies rage on our front pages.

How can scientists get their voices heard more loudly on these sensitive and contested issues? Is science in the headlines an opportunity or a threat? How can we help the public to assess where the weight of good evidence lies on issues when the media's love of 'balance' and the maverick make it look like science is divided. The Science Media Centre sits on the front line between the research community and the 24 hour news media. Its remit is to get the media to DO science better by getting scientists to DO the media better. The CEO Fiona Fox will describe the philosophy of the Centre and show through real case studies how scientists changed what the public saw by engaging.

About the speaker

Fiona Fox has a degree in journalism and many years of experience in working in media relations for high profile national organisations. Her career includes stints working for the Equal Opportunities Committee, National Council for One Parent Families, and CAFOD (a leading aid agency), before her current role as Chief Executive of the Science Media Centre which opened in April 2002.

Other than her dedication to the SMC, Fiona was chair of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Working Group that published a report on the future of science in the media in January 2010 as part of the UK’s Science and Society strategy. She was also called to give oral evidence to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards in the UK in 2012, and writes regularly on science in the media.