Science lessons

Think you’ve got it all figured out? Here are a few
lessons from the other side of campus.

One of the best things about j-school, as least in my own
experience, is the volume of practical experience available, in addition
to the academic experience. Though I wouldn’t change my course if I could do it
all over, I do often wish that I had been offered more opportunities to take
classes outside of the “typical journalism electives.” (My school likes to
encourage English, sociology and politics, and discourage science and
mathematics—oh how I miss math!
What kind of electives does your j-school offer?)

But why, you ask, should I bother learning about science
and math if I don’t care to write about science and math? Well, MediaShift has an answer for

In honour of a recent North Carolina science conference,
Andria Krewson recently penned “8
lessons journalists can learn from scientists”
for MediaShift. Some
of her lessons?

  • Civility matters.
  • Diversity is worth tackling.
  • Experimentation and transparency pay off.

These sound more like life lessons than journalism
lessons. But my personal favourite?

  • The discussion of pros vs. amateurs isn’t over.

Did you know there’s such a thing as “citizen scientists”
that presumably have “real” scientists banging their heads against walls?
Perhaps scientists and journalists aren’t so different after all. Make sure to
check out the rest of Krewson’s post
for the remaining words of wisdom.

The moral of this story is that there’s a lesson to be
learned from even the most unlikely of professions and, as a journalist,
there’s no such thing as too much information. Don’t ever get stuck in the trap
of assuming that you know everything worth knowing.