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 right choice of contraceptive is crucial. Science can help you to choose one that's right for you.
In the Free State, access to health services can depend on who you know, as the tragic case of one woman illustrates.
Where traditional beliefs are more real than textbooks, treating illness is a balancing act for sangomas and medical doctors alike.
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.