Checking date: 14/05/2018

Course: 2019/2020

Scientific and environmental journalism
Study: Dual Bachelor in Journalism and Humanities Studies (282)


Department assigned to the subject: Department of Communication

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Students are expected to have completed
News reporting Interpretative Journalism
Competences and skills that will be acquired and learning results. Further information on this link
One of the major problems of modern society is that scientific and technological production is increasing exponentially and, nonetheless, people are more and more removed from knowledge of these advances because we do not have the ability to take them in with the speed with which they occur. One way to reduce this difference is to publish this information in the media. That is precisely why the aim of this course is to provide students with the basic tools necessary to handle scientific and technological news. The programme not only includes aspects of journalistic writing, but it also aims to place the subject within a context of science, technology and society. Most scientific information reaches the public via television. Thus, the course, in addition to the written media, reinforces content in an audiovisual framework, interactive technology or scientific photography.
Description of contents: programme
Topic I: Science as something with journalistic interest Topic II: Sources in scientific journalism Topic III: Scientific academic journals as sources Topic IV: Internet and the scientific journalism Topic V: Writing skills in scientific journalism Topic VI: Journalistic genres applied to scientific information Topic VII: Science news published in different media options: press, webs, television and radio. Topic VIII: Scientific journalism as a profession itself. Topic IX: Data Journalism Topic X: Health Communication
Learning activities and methodology
Students must write scientific news using all the journalistic genres: report, interview, chronicle, bibliographic summary, news, etc. There will also be comparative analysis of the science sections of different newspapers. Each month there will be an exam on scientific current events. An attempt will be made to visit an inportant Spanish scientific centre. SEMINAR: The students must take a seminar on scientific topics which tend to be newsworthy and which generally correspond to the book Science through Journalism, mentioned in the bibliography. Topic 1. - Space and the Solar System. Concepts. The International Space Station and the missions to Mars. Topic 2. - The Earth: its formation and the tectonic plates. Volcanism and earthquakes Topic 3. - Life: concepts on the appearance of life on Earth, embryonic stem cells. Cloning. Topic 4. - Ecology and environment. The greenhouse effect, disappearance of the ozone layer and climate change. Topic 5.- Diet: Food crises. "Mad Cow" Disease, information about rapeseed oil, etc. Topic 6. - Matter and energy: Nuclear fusion and fission. The ITER project. Oil: information about oil spills. Topic 7.- Scientific policy. National R+D plans, Spanish research in the CSIC and universities. Brief introduction to the history of Spanish science.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 60
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 40
Basic Bibliography
  • BAUER, MARTIN Y BUCCHI, MASSIMIANO (eds). . Journalism, Science and Society. . Routledge. New York/London. . 2007
  • BUCCHI, MASSIMIANO Y BRIAN TRENCH (eds.).. Handbook of Science Communication. Routledge. London & New York.. 2008
  • ELIAS, CARLOS. La ciencia a través del periodismo. Nivola. 2003
  • ELIAS, CARLOS. Fundamentos de periodismo científico y divulgación mediática.. Alianza Editorial. Madrid. 2008
  • ELIAS, CARLOS.. La razón estrangulada. La crisis de la ciencia en la sociedad contemporánea. . . Debate/RandomHouseMondadori. Barcelona. 2008
  • GREGORY, JANE y MILLER, STEVE. Science in public. Communication, Culture and credibility. Basic Book. London. 1998
  • HORGAN, JOHN. . El fin de la ciencia. . Paidós. Barcelona.. 1998
  • SOKAL, ALAIN y BRICMOUNT JEAN. . Imposturas intelectuales. .. Paidós. Barcelona. 1999
  • WEINGART, PETER and HUPPAUF, BERND. Science Images and Popular Images of the Sciences. Routledge. 2007
Additional Bibliography
  • BUCCHI, MASSIMIANO.. Beyond Technocracy. Citizens, Politics, Technoscience, . Springer, New York . 2009
  • CAMACHO MARKINA, IDOIA (coord). La especialización en periodismo. Formarse para informar. . Comunicación Social. . 2010
  • JASSANOFF, SHEILA. . The fifth Branch: Science advisers as policy makers. . Harvard University Press. Massachussets. 1990
  • KALANTZIS-COPE, PHILLIPS Y GHERAB-MARTIN, KARIM. Emerging digital spaces in contemporary society. Properties of technology. Pagrave macmillan. New York. 2011
  • LEON, BIENVENIDO (coord). Ciencia para la televisión.El documetnal científico y sus claves. UOC. Barcelona. 2010
  • REVUELTA, GEMA (coord). Dilemas y acuerdo éticos en la comunicación médica. Civitas Thomson Reuters. 2010

The course syllabus and the academic weekly planning may change due academic events or other reasons.