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Science Journalism Research Group

Science journalism is a new and developing specialty at the School of Journalism at the University of British Columbia. It aims to improve the understanding of science through research, teaching, and public discussion.

Useful to scientists, educators, journalists, and the interested public, the Web site for science journalism information will become a one-stop site for science journalism. It will include the latest information on the Pleiades Promoter Project, the GE3LS project and other related projects. News items, featured invited articles, upcoming events, research news and resources for journalists and others will be included on the site.

The Pleiades Promoter Project aims to develop genetic tools towards therapeutic interventions for brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression, ADHD and autism. Genomics research and gene therapy are among the most controversial areas of science, raising ethical, legal, social and other issues. This GE3LS project will investigate issues related to the public communication of controversial science, with a focus on genomics and gene therapy.

At present, this communication is limited by misinformation, advocacy, poor science communication and inadequate journalism. This research is thus motivated by three basic questions :
— What is the science communication process that produces genomic journalism ?
— What roles do the news media play ?
— How does the public comprehend and use the information they receive ?

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