The mass media plays a very important role in communicating scientific issues and shaping public attitude to science. Thus, ‘science journalists’ are often defined as a bridge between scientists and the ordinary people.
However, science writing is not an easy task because, unlike scientists, science journalists are usually by nature interdisciplinary and define themselves by two roles: ‘journalists’ and ‘specialists’. Beside having writing skills, science writers need to be able to explain scientific vocabulary, or jargon, to a general audience, understand how to collect facts to portray the science accurately, and get a balance between media values and scientific ones in a story.
Recognising the importance of the media in the public’s engagement with science and some of the difficulties of science writing in Vietnam, the OUCRU PES department is setting up forums to bring journalists and scientists together. We aim to facilitate the development of a community of scientific media writers in Vietnam, and offer workshops and support to improve science writing. This OUCRU PES project will be funded by a grant from The Wellcome Trust UK.