Meeting on Nordic Science Outreach

Copenhagen, Denmark

12-13 January 2005

Background and Purpose

The main idea of the meeting is to enhance the contact between science writers and scientists. The plan is to bring together science reporters and scientists from the different Nordic countries to present their experience in reporting science results and to discuss ideas of how the cooperation between science reporters from the different Nordic countries can be coordinated. Here, science reporters can include science writers for popular science magazines, but also TV and radio reporters. The time of the meeting is ideal because it provides an excellent opportunity to bring science writers in touch with some well-known scientists from the Nordic countries and abroad who are participating in the Third Astrobiology Project meeting to be held in Copenhagen 13-15 January 2005.

The topic of astrobiology is clearly a well suited example, which is timely and where public interest is high. It is also an example where public expectations and scientific reality can be far apart. This can result in mismatch between what the scientist believe should be reported and what might interest the public. This is particularly true of the rather serious attempts to produce artificial life, to understand early life, and to detect extraterrestrial life. For this type of research it is essential that the scientists inform about the real facts in a proper way. Here it is important to be pro-active in the public discussion of ethical and religious issues, which can only be ensured by active communication between scientists and the media. Similarly critical topics are familiar in the context of cloning, stem cell research, and gene therapy.

This meeting is organized by Anja C. Andersen, Axel Brandenburg (, and Leena Tähtinen.

Note: this meeting is just prior to the meeting on Astrobiology and Origins of Life.

Follow-up meeting Nordic Science Communication # Bridging the Gap? (meeting in Copenhagen, 13 May 2005)

$Date: 2006/01/12 10:23:34 $, $Author: axelsu $, $Revision: 1.8 $