Sidebar scientists

By Grant Jacobs 19/10/2009 17

One suggestion I made as the Science Media Centre (SMC) was set up was to encourage media to use experts to complement journalists’ stories with a sidebar of the “bare bones” of the science associated with the story.

Everyone will know how this works. Readers who want more than the storyline or who want “just the facts” have a condensed pointer to the background written independently by someone knowledgeable on the topic at hand. The reason I bring it up is that perhaps it’s one way to involve scientists in science communication without involving a lot of time or asking that they write a complete piece.

This may be particularly well-suited to digital editions (i.e. on-line), where WWW addresses (URLs) to further reading can be given directly as links and where the layout is more easily adapted to include a sidebar.

Any thoughts?

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