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The role of science journalism in creating an open and participatory society


Wednesday 6 December 2017


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Ballsbridge Hotel, Pembroke Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4


The discussion will focus on the role of science journalists in opening up science to the wider public: what works and why, what are the points of tension between science the media, and when do collaboration and dialogue break down and why? The panel discussion will be followed by informal networking amongst the journalists who cover science-related topics.

Entry is free to SciCom Ireland 2017 delegates, journalists and members of NUJ, ISTJA or ABSW, but you need to REGISTER HERE


Olive Heffernan is a freelance environment writer and editor. A former marine scientist, Olive was on staff at Nature for 5 years, where she launched the prestigious research journal Nature Climate Change as its first chief editor. Olive now mostly writes about climate change and oceans for outlets such as New Scientist, Nature, Nature Climate Change and Scientific American. She has also contributed to the Guardian, National Geographic News and Yale E360. She is currently a Visiting Science Writer at Trinity College Dublin in the School of Natural Sciences.

Tom Kennedy studied natural sciences and then worked as a film-production assistant and freelance photojournalist before specialising in science journalism. He was an editor of Technology Ireland, a monthly magazine published by the state agency, Enterprise Ireland, and was among the founding members of the Irish Science and Technology Journalists’ Association. He was also instrumental in establishing a long-running science writing competition for school students with the Royal Dublin Society, and he co-authored a popular book on the art and science of colour. With two other freelance science journalists, Tom established Science Spin magazine to report on science from a local perspective.

 Anthony King is a freelance science journalist based in Dublin, Ireland. He covers a variety of topics in chemical and biological sciences, as well as science policy, health and innovation. His articles have appeared in Nature, Science, Cell, Chemistry World, New Scientist, the Irish Times, New York Times, EMBO Reports, Chemistry & Industry and more. Previously he worked for a publishing company as a science editor

 Jonathan McCrea is an award-winning broadcaster, producer and founder of Whipsmart Media, a communications and events consultancy for the science, medical and technology sectors. He presents Futureproof on Newstalk, 10 Things To Know About on RTE1 and A Great Guide to the Future on TV3.  As a consultant, Jonathan helps smart people spread their ideas to the world. Whipsmart provides media training, coaching for keynote presentation and investor pitching. Whipsmart has just started a new venture called THINK:TANK which delivers design-thinking hackathons for clients looking to drive true innovation in their organisations. He runs the annual communications conference SCI:COM and is an invited expert panelist for the Katerva Awards, the global sustainability initiative.

 Claire O’Connell is a scientist-turned-writer. She has a Ph.D. from University College Dublin, and during her scientific career she variously peered at plants, brains, insects and even the inner workings of mammary gland cells. She holds a Masters in Science Communication from Dublin City University. She has been contributing to The Irish Times since 2005 and writes mainly about health, science and innovation. She also contribute to Silicon Republic.


 Maria Delaney is an award-winning science and health journalist. Her writing has appeared in The Sunday Times, The Irish Times,, Ars Technica, Creative Nonfiction, and more. She has radio experience with national stations including RTÉ Radio 1 and Newstalk, and was part of the team producing Inside Culture on RTÉ Radio 1 during its first season. She won ABSW Newcomer Award for Britain & Ireland in 2015.

Further details and contact information

Mico Tatalovic

Tags: , science, science journalism, science writers, Association of British Science Writers, Irish Science and Technology Journalism Association, SciCom 2017, dublin