EU think tank urges ‘bridging the gap’ between scientists and journalists

The European Group on Life Sciences (EGLS), a Commission think tank, on 9 July looked into ways to establish closer links between scientists and the media and identified more effective practices to improve balanced media coverage of scientific progress.

The meeting, organised by the Commission under the auspices
of the European Group on Life Sciences (EGLS), discussed in a
practical way the sometimes difficult relationship between science
and the media. Scientists complain that the press oversimplifies
complex issues whilst journalists point to researchers' alleged
lack of communication. The meeting underlined the constraints,
needs, concerns, and the interests of scientific journalists
working in different European contexts.

The meeting made the following

  • to launch studies on science communication in Europe;
  • to increase awareness of respective needs and constraints;
  • to engage researchers to produce feature articles for the
    broader public;
  • to network and co-operate between press and information
  • to grant career awards and rewards to good communicators in
    life sciences;
  • to share resources and experience amongst bio-science
    specialised media;
  • to organise joint communication events on key life sciences
    issues across Europe;
  • to foster a more proactive role in the communication process by
    the research institutions.

The European Group on the Life Sciences (EGLS) is a think tank
of academic experts set up in 2000 to advise the Commission on
matters concerning life sciences and related policy matters, in
particular those touching upon communication and awareness-raising.
The outcome of the meeting should help the EGLS to turn scientific
knowledge into benefits for the EU citizens. Follow-up actions are
envisaged in the context of the 6th Framework Programme, via the
Action Plans for "Life Sciences and Biotechnology" and for "Science
and Society".


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