SciFacts graphic

SciFacts: Fact-Checking Claims About Science

October 12, 2017
Teaching Date
Oct. 17, 2017
National Press Club

Please note: The application deadline for this event has passed.

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We are bombarded by news releases, scientific studies and an evolving hierarchy of sources. How do you sort through what is real, what is noise and what is flat-out deception?

Poynter will host a free one-day workshop to discuss the key challenges of reporting the facts about science at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 17.

During this special daylong event, we will explore how journalists can combat misinformation and cover evolving or contradictory findings without reducing trust in the scientific method. We’ll also look at the evolving role of scientific reporting in public policy.


  • Profile picture for user alexios

    Alexios Mantzarlis

    Faculty & Director, Poynter's International Fact-Checking Network

    The Poynter Institute

Here is our proposed schedule:

8:30 a.m. ~ Welcome ~ Neil Brown, The Poynter Institute

               ~ Introduction ~ Alexios Mantzarlis, The Poynter Institute

8:35 a.m. ~ Setting the scene ~ Cary Funk, Pew Research Center, will present key findings about audiences seeking facts in science journalism from “Science News and Information Today”.

8:45 a.m. ~ “A new study says” – but does it really? ~ Laura Helmuth, Washington Post; Courtney Soderberg, Center for Open Science; Nancy Shute, NPR; Tiffany Lohwater, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

                 - Panel discussion will address how science reporters can deal with a field increasingly concerned with reproducibility, p-hacking & an evolving hierarchy of sources.

10:30 a.m. ~ Pre-publication fact-checking: The National Geographic process ~ Brad Scriber, National Geographic

11:30 a.m. ~ Post-publication fact-checking: Climate Feedback’s method ~ Emmanuel Vincent, Climate Feedback

12:30 p.m. ~ Lunch

                 - During lunch: Welcome by Ralph Blackman. Kelly McBride, The Poynter Institute, Q&A with FAAR speaker Dr. Howard Shaffer.

1:15 p.m. ~ Lessons from misinformation on the climate change beat ~ Aaron Huertas, Science Communication Media; Tristram Korten, Freelance; Emily Atkin, New Republic.

                 - What can science reporters learn from the organized campaign against climate science? How should they interact with skeptical audiences?

2:15 p.m. ~ How conflicts of interest get in the way of truth & what we should do about it ~ Gary Schwitzer, HealthNewsReview; Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, Georgetown University.

3:15 p.m. ~ Break

3:45 p.m. ~ Getting science right even off your beat: tools & resources for your reporting ~ Lightning rounds, including Rick Weiss, AAAS; Gary Schwitzer, HealthNewsReview; Tiffany Lohwater, AAAS; other panelists/participants.

4:30 p.m. ~ Reception


Event Details:

Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Followed by a reception.)

Location: National Press Club, Fourth Estate Room, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20045.


This event is free thanks to the support of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.

Seating is limited for this unique event, so we encourage you to apply soon.

This program will not be streamed live.

Disclosure: This event is funded by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. As with all funding Poynter receives and in line with Poynter's Ethics Code, the origin of the financial support does not influence our teaching. If you have questions, please contact Alexios Mantzarlis or Poynter Vice President Kelly McBride. You can also call them at 727-821-9494.

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