The Ibero-American Day of Science takes place on 28 November; it was launched last year during a meeting of science ministers within the framework of the Ibero-American Summit. On this occasion, we have compiled below several guides and databases maintained by universities, research centres and other science organisations that aim to help journalists in search of expert sources. Of course, this list is not comprehensive; if you have suggestions for other guides and sources—whether from Spain, Portugal or Latin America—that we could add, please don't hesitate to contact us so that we can continue to expand this resource.
Floods in Libya and Greece, fires in Australia or earthquakes in Morocco. Disasters are on the rise, partly because climate change is affecting the frequency and intensity of some of them. The media often use the term 'natural disaster' to describe them, something a team of crisis and disaster specialists is trying to change.
More than two thirds of Spanish citizens think that artificial intelligence presents a very high or high risk that we will be manipulated with our data by companies or governments. However, just over a third believe that artificial intelligence will have an impact on improving the quality of public services and companies. These are some of the results gathered in the 2022 edition of the Survey of Social Perception of Science and Technology published today by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), carried out among more than 6,000 people with face-to-face interviews in the 17 autonomous communities.
Studies on risks, especially those related to health, generate headlines because they are of concern to the public. A good understanding of risk is crucial for making decisions such as getting vaccinated, taking care of one's diet, choosing a contraceptive method or changing consumer habits. However, it is difficult: it is a statistical concept that is often identified with danger and provokes feelings, so its perception is subjective. This guide, accompanied by an infographic, brings together seven recommendations for risk information from the expert María del Carmen Climént.
The survey Scientific Disinformation in Spain, carried out by FECYT in the framework of the European project IBERIFIER, shows that most citizens are concerned about the effects of scientific disinformation and that they do not feel very confident when it comes to differentiating between false and true content. The report includes a series of recommendations for dealing with this type of misinformation, which are reproduced below.
Why it is important for scientific sources to declare conflicts of interest when talking to the media
All researchers who collaborate with SMC Spain or with the media in assessing scientific news must declare their potential conflicts of interest. Below we explain our policy for declaring these possible conflicts.
Based on the Decalogue of recommendations for climate change communication signed in 2018 by more than 80 media outlets, environmental communication professionals from all over Spain, together with the scientific team of the Climate Change Communication Observatory, have drawn up the new Decalogue 2022, a guide for the social communication of the climate crisis. A summarised version is reproduced below.
When science hits the headlines, there are controversial issues that generate criticism of scientists. If they become attacks, they should be reported to the research centre and to the authorities. We summarise and adapt the UK SMC's recommendations in these situations.
"According to a study" is a phrase that is as used as it is inaccurate: not everything that journals publish is a study, nor have all their articles been peer-reviewed. As in traditional media, there are different genres ranging from Letters to Editorials. Here are some of the most important ones.
The publications in which scientific results are made public, known as papers in the jargon, are sometimes newsworthy, that is, what they report can be narrated to a wider - non-scientific - audience as journalistic news. But in the paper-news transition the message is formatted very differently.