UTSpeaks: Deluding Doubters & Double Dealings?

Is the media keeping us ignorant and aloof from the urgent warnings of science?
Photo by Michael Hall

Photo by Michael Hall

5 March 2014
6:00 PM

The Great Hall

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Can we rely on the news media to keep us informed about what counts or are news and current affairs mainly about what sells or creates conflict? Has agenda-driven editorialising replaced quality journalism presenting a clear balance of educated views?

For the first time in almost a century Australia has no federal minister for science, yet never before in history has public understanding of science been so crucial. Why would media skew the views of the people we should trust most?

Drawing on Australian Centre for Independent Journalism research on the media’s treatment of climate change and climate science, this public lecture and expert panel discuss our media landscape and the forces influencing how news is framed. It considers whether scientific discoveries and evidence are selectively used or abused in ways that could leave us befuddled, complacent and uncertain whom to believe.

Introductory Speaker and Panelist - Wendy Bacon
Investigative journalist Wendy Bacon is Professorial Fellow with UTS’s Australian Centre for Independent journalism (ACIJ). A long-time advocate for social justice and the highest standards in journalism, she has nurtured some of today’s most influential and successful journalists.

Professor Peter Ralph - Panelist
Peter Ralph is Director of the Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster in the  UTS Faculty of Science. He is regularly called on by the media to comment on the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems.

Robyn Williams AM - Panelist
Science journalist Robyn Williams presents ABC Radio National's The Science Show and Ockham's Razor. He has conducted countless interviews with scientists and appeared on programs such Catalyst. Robyn was the first journalist elected as a Fellow Member of the Australian Academy of Science.

Will Steffen - Panelist
Will Steffen is a Councilor with the Climate Council of Australia a global change researcher at the Australian National University. His research interest broadly spans climate and climate change, Earth System science, and human processes in Earth System modeling.

MC and Panel Moderator - Tom Morton, Director, ACIJ

UTSPEAKS: is a free public lecture series presented by UTS experts discussing a range of important issues confronting contemporary Australia, proudly supported by the UTS Union.

3 Apr 2014