The Concordia Science Journalism Project (CSJP) was started in 2008 to establish a science journalism research and teaching platform in the Department of Journalism at Concordia University. We see science journalism as a vital endeavor that helps us make better decisions about public matters concerning our health, environment and safety. As scientific research accelerates its discoveries and crosses boundaries into politics, law and ethics, it is increasingly important for citizens to have access to scientific content, lest we be left with a lack of public involvement in the governance of science.
The project therefore looks to actively support, better understand and improve the role of science journalism in Canada.
OUR MAIN RESEARCH INTERESTS
- Science journalism modelling that focuses on advancing the practical tools available to science journalists through improved theory/practice connections.
- The collection of the lived experiences of journalists, scientists and scholar on the creation of science journalism.
- The support of critical discussion of current practices in the field of science journalism in Canada.
- Methods of deliberative public engagement with science and technology issues.
- The support of student training in science journalism and public engagement.
Our approach to these interests is interdisciplinary. We work to bridge theoretical aspects of a rich history of study into science communication with a practical focus on science journalism and the constraints that shape it. We are particularly interested in current debates over the quality of science journalism, the medialization of science, the impacts of the Internet and new communication technologies, and the evolving values related to how science journalists defend their work.
As a function of this, we also see public discussion of science and technology in forums beyond journalism as vital to legitimate and trustworthy governance. We therefore combine an interest in science journalism with the study of methods of deliberative public engagement.
OUR RESEARCH METHODS
- Creation of science journalism models that link theories of science communication to journalism practice.
- Testing of model-based science journalism through inclusion of science journalists in our projects.
- In-depth qualitative interviewing of the lived experience of science journalists, scientists and media scholars.
- Use of focus groups methodologies to explore how people use and gain knowledge from science journalism and scientific information.
- Methods of democratic deliberation and public engagement rooted in deliberative democracy.
- Meta-synthesis of diverse literatures for knowledge translation and enhanced research use.
We are always interested in speaking with prospective graduate students and research assistants that wish to study with the Concordia Science Journalism Project.
Prospective graduate students interested in completing a MA thesis with Dr. Secko can apply to the MA program in Journalism Studies in the Department of Journalism at Concordia University. Students interested in Ph.D. studies in science communication can apply to work with Dr. Secko through Concordia’s INDI program.
Students are immersed in an exciting research environment that includes working with the Centre for Applied Synthetic Biology (CASB), Concordia’s Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics, or Concordia’s Center for Broadcast and Journalism Studies.
Those interested in applying for research assistantships, or volunteering to learn something new, can contact Dr. Secko at anytime and be studying at any level.