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How to Find Credible Sources for Science Stories

I have evaluated your story ideas for your straight news. I asked you to make sure your sources are credible. However, it seems you were just blindly groping for/making up reasons why your sources are credible.

Since you are writing about science, you are adopting this principle that we use scientific information published in peer-reviewed publications. CAFS Dean Dr. Vic Asio himself believes it is wrong to disseminate scientific information if the information or data did not go through peer-review.

Dr. Gravoso forwarded a Manila Bulletin article to me. This was earlier forwarded to him by a soil scientist Dr. Ian Navarrete. The article looked great. But the only problem is that, the report did not benefit peer-review. Dr. Gravoso has been reading international newspapers lately and the common denominator is that, they popularize scientific info based on a peer-reviewed paper. This is also the practice of BBC and CNN.
So for this class, your credible written sources should be:
  1. Peer-reviewed publications
  2. Science stories based on peer-reviewed publications

Hope you take note.

Your takehome midterm exam

Here is the download link to the PDF:

DC135 Midterm Exam SY 2012-2013

Please share this to your classmates who do not have Internet access right this moment. The instructions are all in the PDF.

God bless!

Domains of Science Communication Assignment

As promised here are the groupings and your assigned topic. Read about the topics (actually chapters) from the 2nd Roundtable Discussion on Science Communication from this PDF.


  1. Communication among Scientists (Alao to Epiz)
  2. Communication of Research Results (Espinosa to Lugas)
  3. Communication with the use of ICTs (Mades to Roca)
  4. Communication of science to the general public (Rodriguez to Yap)

Each group will discuss on Thursday for 40 minutes about the given topic. If you have questions, leave a comment/email me/text me/see me at the office.

Re: Your Article Reading Assignments

Hello guys! Yesterday, I was busy preparing for today’s trip. I chose not to hold classes. Anyway, this is a followup on your assignment to read articles of the science topics that interest you. It came to my attention that many of you misunderstood (or exaggerated) the assignment. Please do not stress yourselves out.

May I repeat the instructions:

  1. Choose three science topics that interest you most. (e.g. airplanes, building acoustics, paramecium) [By the way, e.g. is exempli gratia, Latin for ‘for example’]
  2. Open Google Scholar. For each of these three topics, find three articles that has PDFs of the full journal article. Therefore, you will have to find a total of nine articles. (I’ve already discussed to you how to recognize journal articles.)
  3. Keep the PDFs and read them.
  4. On your notebook, write about what you understood from each article. You can jot down your reflections about the findings, say, if they are interesting or worth writing about. You can write about how you feltYou can use 3-5 sentences for each reflection.
  5. At the end part, practice citing the articles in APA Format, 6th Edition.


  • Learn the art of scanning, skimming and focused reading. Since journal articles all start with the abstract, you can easily understand the article by reading it. After that, you can jump to the methodology, then fast forward to the results, then conclusions to come to a more complete understanding of the article. Then you may go back to the start for more focused reading.

If you have questions, you may leave a comment.

While I’m Away, Interview A Scientist

Hello guys, I and your classmates Kim and Gabrielle are currently at DZR Airport waiting for our 6:55AM Manila flight. While we are away, you will be working on an activity… Interview a scientist. Here’s how you will do it:

  1. Form triads (groups of three). Each group will interview a scientist in VSU. The most important highlight of the interview should be on the journalists’ roles in disseminating information and his impressions of journalists.
  2. Construct questions and present these to other groups for critiquing. The questions should be revised based on the comments of your classmates.
  3. Devote your laboratory time (Thu, 7-10) to conduct the interview. If your scientist-interviewee is unavailable, adjust your schedule accordingly.
  4. Prepare to report about the interview next week using Powerpoint, Impress or Prezi. Deduce from the interview the following: 1) science journalists’ role in disseminating S & T information, 2) the need for the journalists and scientists to work cooperatively, and 3) ways by which journalists and scientists can work together. Of course, include the name of the scientist, his/her field of expertise, and recent research accomplishments and the ones he/she is working on.
  5. Aside from the report, you will write about your experience in interviewing a scientist. Take time to reflect and then write about it.

Prepare for reporting next week, and we will catch up on our missed lecture times. (We may have makeup classes.) God bless!

If you have questions, leave a comment or text me. 🙂

Roleplaying on Thursday: Scientists and Journalists

On Thursday, November 15, we will get in the shoes of scientists and journalists.

  1. Pick a partner. Choose who will act as the scientist and the journalist. Since we have 41 in the class, one pair will have 3 people: 2 journalists, 1 scientist.
  2. From the National Geographic website, choose a full-length science feature. This will be your topic. Submit the topic to me on or before Wednesday. There must be no duplication of topic.
  3. Based on the topic of your science feature, the scientist will assume this is his/her area of expertise. At the same time, the journalist’s role is to write a story about the topic. Be sure to read up about the topic, so scientists can answer the journalist’s questions, and the journalist can ask the right questions to the scientist.
  4. The journalists will schedule an interview with the scientist. All interviews will happen on Thursday, 7 AM. Set a comfortable place where you will conduct an interview. You can use recorders and take down notes on gadgets if you want (as an alternative to the notebook and pen).
  5. On Thursday, 7 AM, the journalist will interview the scientist about the topic. Everybody will come to class at 7 AM and wait for my instructions before proceeding to the interview. The interview will last for 2 hours.
  6. At 9 AM, everybody will come back to class for another activity.

See you!

Weigold DIscussion on Wednesday

On Wednesday, we will discuss about Weigold’s review of Science Communication. Be sure to read up on the article and understood his points before coming to class.

We will talk about the topic. If the discussion is weak and unenthusiastic, we will resort to an examination. I hope not. Looking forward to a great discussion with you guys!

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