The inside story of science's biggest controversies

Fiona Fox

Monday, July 18 2022 at 7:30PM

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Farm Road
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

(Press the buzzer to be let in. We are in the back room of the Club.)

Fiona Fox

What's the talk about?

MMR, Climategate, Frankenstein foods and ‘babies with 3 parents’ … science stories have made headlines over the last few decades, often for the wrong reasons.  For years, science and media seemed to be opposing camps and many scientists actively resisted talking to the media. Would the two never meet? 

Founding director of the Science Media Centre, Britain's independent science press office, Fiona argues that  a lot has changed since then. Covid has demonstrated how scientists have indeed stepped up to the plate and the status of science journalists has risen inside newsrooms with editors recognizing the importance of getting the science right.  Fiona argues that the groundwork for these positive changes had been laid over many years and through a series of controversial stories including animal research, human animal embryos and GM crops.

In her book  Beyond the Hype, Fox shines a light on the truth behind some of the headline-grabbing stories of the last two decades.  From global emergencies like Covid-19 and Fukushima to the shaming of Tim Hunt, she reveals the highs and lows of each media controversy and shows us how more scientists engaging openly has transformed the way science is reported. But, Fiona argues, not everything has moved in the right direction.

Fiona has received many accolades for her services to science, including an OBE and honorary fellowships of the Academy of Medical Science, the Royal Society of Biology and the British Pharmacology Society, and a special award for promoting openness in animal research.  She has a blog on science and the media and writes for science publications and other media.