From climate change and superbugs to asteroid strikes, many of the most important, exciting and compelling stories of our era come from the world of science. But writing about science, health or the environment is a difficult task. The fields cover a vast array of different disciplines, new discoveries can be prone to over-hyping, and your success depends on explaining complex information to a lay audience, meaning digging out and making the most of good stories is hard work.
This evening course is the perfect primer for anyone interested in a career in science journalism or communication, as James Randerson, Guardian Environment and Science News Editor, shows how science stories make it from the lab bench to the media.
Through a series of talks and practical exercises, Randerson will teach you how to spot and write a potent, informative news story, and how to pitch it to editors. You'll learn about the major common sources journalists use to find stories about science, health and the environment. You'll also learn about the ways science journalism can go wrong, and how inaccurate stories make it into print. Perhaps most importantly, you'll also learn how to avoid falling into the churnalism trap of reporting bad science and ensure your writing is both accurate and authoritative.
Sections on the best ways to employ digital media, and how the internet is changing the reporting of science means this is ideal for journalists and bloggers alike.
This course is for you if
- You want to get started in science journalism
- You're a news or features journalist who wishes to add science journalism to your skills portfolio
- You're a scientist and want to better understand how your work interfaces with the media
James Randerson is the Guardian's environment and science news editor. He has previously worked as the paper's science correspondent and as deputy news editor for New Scientist magazine. He also has a PhD in Evolutionary Genetics.
He has lectured on science, health and environment journalism to students at universities including City, Cardiff and Bath. He also has experience of training academics in how the media works. He directed sessions at the 6th World Conference of Science Journalists in 2009 in London and at the UK Conference of Science Journalists last year.
When & Where
Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.
Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.
Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.
The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.