The Science Media Center (SMC) of the U.S. will help journalists cover stories where science is the headline—such as mapping the human genome or the shock of a tsunami. It will support broadcasters, writers and online professionals generating news articles, features and commentaries where communicating science and technology accurately and compellingly is crucial.
Science and technology encompass the natural, physical, social and biomedical sciences and also includes technology, engineering and the environment.
There are more than twenty Science Media Centers around the world—either in operation or being established. The first was founded a decade ago in London and is now based at The Wellcome Trust; see: www.sciencemediacentre.org
SMCs are independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan organizations offering four key services:
- Rapid response to media requests for interviews with top experts, background information, data and analysis for fast-breaking news stories;
- Advance briefings and alerts to keep journalists ahead of science and technology news and discoveries;
- Resources such as fact sheets, issues briefs and reports produced with evidence-based, replicable research about important science and engineering topics, questions and events; and
- Training for scientists, engineers and health professionals to enable them to offer reporters the facts journalists need in the form they need them for broadcast interviews, on-the-record quotes and background or off-the-record discussions.
The SMC’s goal is to provide the media and public with accurate, high-quality science information and with a better understanding of the scientific method.