the salvation of science writing


What I’m trying to say is that science writing will go on forever, in one form or another. Why? Because there’s so much science in our world, and it’s so interesting. There is also a desire—even a hunger, I believe—to learn things about our world that are not likely to be eclipsed by the next day’s events, as is the case with so much news. There is considerably more hunger for science reporting—and, in my opinion, a considerably more sophisticated readership for it—than many of the people who run newspapers realize. I’ll speculate on why that may be in a minute. Suffice it to say, science reporting is a growth industry in journalism, and has been for about 20 years. It will continue to be because science is something Americans do very well. Science is also something that Americans are counting on, rightly or wrongly, to solve a lot of the problems facing them. I believe this truth—that people want to learn about scientific discoveries, the systematic exploration of our material world—carries with it an opportunity for journalism to improve itself and in some sense to remake itself.

more from David Brown at The American Scholar here.