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Reporting Science. Thomas Abraham. http:// /quiz/science-knowledge/. Asking the big questions…. Where do we live?. Composite image of middle of our galaxy from Hubble , Spitzer telescopes and Chandra X ray observatory

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reporting science

Reporting Science

Thomas Abraham


Asking the big questions…

Where do we live?

Composite image of middle of our galaxy from

Hubble , Spitzer telescopes and Chandra X ray observatory


Where are we going?

Are we alone?

Image from the Hubble telescope:


Where will we live?

Santa Maria Crater, Mars. Photo taken by Nasa’s Mars exploration vehicle. Dec, 2010

a hawkings eye view of humanity
A Hawkings’ eye view of humanity
  • “The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies”


The first day of creation began on the night preceding

October 23, 4004 BC

James Ussher, Bishop of Armagh, Ireland. 1581-1656

what was actually happening between 4000 5000bc
What was actually happening between 4000-5000BC?
  • Human beings learned to grow crops and settled down in settled communities
  • Rice began to be cultivated in China
  • The wheel was developed in India
  • Humans had learned to brew beer


Evolution through natural


Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

where did life come from
Where did life come from?
  • Supernatural origins?
  • Extraterrestrial origins?
  • Some sort of process whereby the basic chemicals present in the primitive earth became self replicating, evolving systems?
genetics and re engineering humans
Genetics and re-engineering humans?

science is about fundamental human questions
Science is about fundamental human questions
  • Who we are
  • What we are becoming
  • Where we are going
  • Good science writing needs to connect to these broader themes
some of the things we are going to look at during the course
Some of the things we are going to look at during the course
  • Climate Change
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Nano technology
reporting science the mainstream media
Reporting Science-the mainstream media
scientists who blog
Scientists who blog
news sections of scientific journals
News sections of scientific journals
popular science magazines
Popular science magazines
a new wave of science journalism
A new wave of science journalism
science and development
Science and development
about science writing
About science writing
  • Good stories need to connect to broader themes
  • Explain the science
  • What theories are being tested? What are the prevailing theories?
  • What experiments are being used to test the theory?
  • To do this, you need to understand some of the science
course work
Course work
  • One feature length science story ( 1,500-2,000 words) on the work of a scientist in Hong Kong ?
  • Every class, each one of you will talk about the latest stories in one of the following: Nature, Science, Discover, Scientific American, New Scientist, Wired, Huffington Post
  • Write a paragraph or two,and I will post it on our blog
  • Read MichioKakubook
your feature
Your feature
  • It should be interesting. I should want to read it….
  • Good stories need human beings, doing things, saying things, thinking things
  • Scientific concepts are abstract; science stories need to make these come alive
understanding the science
Understanding the science
  • Talk to the scientist..ask them to explain in lay terms
  • Read: you might find high school text books useful.
  • Do the assigned readings
  • Think about your feature- pitch a story
  • One person lead discussion for next class