Agenda for Tuesday, 10/25

Discussion of Science and Journalism

Friday, Oct. 28, 2016 from noon to 1 p.m.

The Translational Partnership for Mental Health hosts an open discussion on the relationship between science and journalism in BioTech One, Conference Room 1-160. The discussion will be followed by an opportunity for participants to discover ways to translate their own findings (or favorite article) into an accessible format for all readers. Light refreshments will be served. R.S.V.P. to the contact below. For more information, contact Jessica Bourdon at or visit

A Glass Of Red Wine Is The Equivalent To An Hour At The Gym, Says New Study (HuffPo)

Feeling Guilty About Not Flossing? Maybe There’s No Need (NYTimes)

Handouts of news stories

Critiques by Translational Partnership for Mental Health


What journalists can learn from librarians (Columbia Journalism Review)

In a recent Knight Foundation report, the dean of American University’s School of Communication Jeffrey Rutenbeck wrote, “Journalism has had the luxury of not having to ask itself the existential question of why anyone should pay any attention to us at all.” Rutenbeck’s solution to that problem: “I think journalists could learn a lot from hanging around with successful librarians.” There’s some clear similarities between journalists and librarians: They both navigate a wealth of information and help people get the information they need, and they’ve both faced technological disruptions. Among the things journalists could learn from librarians: Librarians have developed a set of principles called “information literacy” to help people assess the credibility of information and how to use ethically.


Book-author reports schedule


Nov. 4-5 Writing Workshops


Pair up. Think of two questions you could ask to help researchers explain their work. We’ll write them down and share them.



First stories

What the final stories look like

Second stories — due before class on Tuesday, Nov. 15

Third stories?

Recalibrating our syllabus

Gradebook item Weight (old) Weight (new)
Story #1 (Sept. 27) 5% 15%
Story #2 (Oct. 6) 10%
Midterm exam (Oct. 25) 15% 15%
Story #3 Writing clinic 10% 10%
Story #2 (Nov. 17) 15% 20%
Final exam (Dec. 13) 20% 25%
Author/book report and presentation 15% 15%
Blog and other homework assignments 10%
Total 100% 100%

Next few classes:

Thursday, Oct. 27

Joseph Johnson: War of the Whales (possible)
Rebecca Jones: At the Edge of Uncertainty

Read and be ready to discuss work by John Horgan, author of The End of Science: Facing the Limits of Science in the Twilight of the Scientific Age:

John Horgan‘s website

Articles and Essays

Cross Check blog on Scientific American


The End of Science

NYT book review

The End of War

The Undiscovered Mind

Tuesday, Nov. 1

Google Hangout with John Horgan, who writes the Cross-Check blog for Scientific American

Thursday, Nov. 3

Get ready for Friday, Nov. 4 and Saturday, Nov. 5, when we will help VCU graduate students craft abstracts and other materials about their research.

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