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eBriefing

Reporting the Science of COVID-19

Reporting the Science of COVID-19
Reported by
Roger Torda

Posted August 25, 2020

Presented By

Science Alliance

The New York Academy of Sciences

Science journalists have a unique opportunity—and responsibility—to help educate the public about COVID-19. Reporters and writers who specialize in science can dig deep and get the facts about clinical research, epidemiology, therapeutics, and vaccine development. They also have the right skills to communicate the underlying science to readers. Find out how three accomplished writers and journalists communicate the underlying science of the coronavirus pandemic to diverse audiences.

In this eBriefing, You’ll Learn:

  • How science writers and reporters use profiles, narrative techniques, and other approaches to engage their readers.
  • How stories about individual nurses, doctors and patients from the inside of hospitals can shed light on larger questions about the spread of COVID-19.
  • How early leads on scientific and medical developments can be found through networks of expert sources, and sometimes through social media.
  • How science writers and reports combat anti-science bias and misinformation, and how they fact check early reports on research, including results distributed in preprints.

Moderators

Roger Torda

The New York Academy of Sciences

Srikant Iyer, PhD

The New York Academy of Sciences

Speakers

Sheri Fink, MD, PhD
Sheri Fink, MD, PhD

New York Times

David Quammen
David Quammen

Author

Amy Maxmen, PhD
Amy Maxmen, PhD

Nature

Science Journalism & COVID-19

Speakers

Reporting the Science of COVID-19


Sheri Fink/David Quammen/Amy Maxmen (New York Times/Author/Nature)

Sheri Fink, MD, PhD

New York Times

Sheri Fink is a correspondent at the New York Times where her in depth reporting on COVID-19 includes stories of impact on patients and healthcare workers from the inside of hospitals. Fink is a former relief worker in disaster and conflict zones, and a Pulitzer Prize recipient for medical and healthcare reporting. Her work includes articles on the West Africa Ebola crisis, and books about the healthcare consequences of Hurricane Katrina and medical professionals under siege during the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Fink received a PhD in neuroscience and an MD from Stanford University before transitioning to a career in science journalism.

 

David Quammen

Author

David Quammen is an author and freelance journalist whose 16 books include Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic and, most recently, The Tangled Tree.  He writes about science, exploration, conservation, and culture for National Geographic, Harpers, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and other magazines. His most recent article in The New Yorker was titled, "The Warnings: Why we should have known to prepare for COVID-19." He travels widely for field research and returns to a home in Montana.

Amy Maxmen, PhD

Nature 

Amy Maxmen is a senior, California-based reporter for Nature. She has reported extensively from Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on frontlines of Ebola outbreaks, and from Southeast Asia on malaria. Her reporting on the coronavirus pandemic includes failures in programs to test for the disease, and how countries with less resources, including Nigeria, Peru, Kenya and El Salvador, tried aggressive measures early on avoid coronavirus disasters. Other stories include treatment with blood from coronavirus survivors, and the spread of the disease in homeless shelters. Maxmen’s work has also appeared in Wired, National Geographic, the New York Times and Newsweek. She received a PhD from Harvard in evolutionary biology.