Science for journalists

Improve your understanding of how to handle stories with science or health angles – take our free science for journalists online course.

Every day, newspapers carry thousands of words about the latest science findings, and a big result such as the discovery of the Higgs Boson can expect to be reported across the globe.

However, specialised science reporters are few and far between. Thus it’s good for anyone studying journalism to have a basic idea of how to tackle stories with science or health claims.

The Science for journalists online course equips you with a basic understanding of how science works and is communicated, key questions to ask, and how to find suitable experts.

The course will take around 20-30 minutes to complete at your own pace, and is self-guided. An audio commentary is provided; this is recommended but is optional. 

The course is based on a syllabus and presentation developed through the RSS Science Journalism Programme. Funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and led by the Royal Statistical Society, volunteers developed and delivered presentations to journalists and journalism students across the UK from 2010-2015. A Statistics for Journalists online course is also available.

Learn more

A series of resources and guides to further explore issues around reporting on science and health stories:

Workshop materials

The syllabus and workshop presentation that this course is based upon is available for anyone to use, adapt and modify. The presentation contains full notes and several exercises to help deliver the issues identified in the syllabus. You can work through this yourself as an alternative to the online course, or use it to deliver your own training to journalists or journalism students.

For details of how to request a volunteer trainer to deliver the course, see the section How it works.

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