The relationship between scientists and journalists is often a difficult and unsatisfying one. This is not constructive to either party: it's a crucial collaboration needed to facilitate public understanding on important issues. If either side were removed from the equation, so to speak, the other would suffer.
This distrust between the media and scientists led to the creation of a "Dragon's Den" type session at the recent Grand Challenges Africa conference in Nairobi, Kenya. A panel of four journalists – two from Kenya and two from South Africa – assessed the way in which four scientists communicated their innovations in 20 minutes to the media. I was fortunate to be on that panel.
Deconstructing science: What journalists want
Are you a scientist who would like your research to travel from the lab to the rest of the world? Here are three tips:
Tips for reading science journalism: Don't believe everything
M&G's Sarah Wild scoops Africa's top science journalism award
Bhekisisa: Our health journalism centre is here
M&G Health Journalism Centre
The loss of their penises has ruined the lives of victims of traditional initiation schools in rural South Africa.
Former detainees tell of being denied chronic medication and contracting diseases like TB while incarcerated in the overcrowded Cape Town facility.
Rape and physical abuse rates more than double those reported in national studies have been recorded in Diepsloot in northern Johannesburg
Bhekisisa means "to scrutinise" in Zulu
In South Africa, Zulu patients who would like to be thoroughly assessed by a doctor, would ask the physician to "bhekisisa" them.