Direct to Consumer Science

Friday, October 09, 2009


Science departments at newspapers everywhere are shrinking. One outlet that aims to help fill the coverage gap is, a new website that lets scientists publish their findings directly to the public. Michael Schoenfeld, Futurity’s co-founder, explains the site’s mission.

Comments [5]

Wyndol Morrow from Oklahoma

Get real, Ed Lallo! In-house propaganda is hardly a legitimate source of news! w

Oct. 13 2009 09:37 AM
Ed Lallo from Austin, Tx

I want to commend you on two very timely pieces on Sunday. Both "Direct to Consumer Science" and "Making the Team" show the new importance that an online newsroom will have in the future of journalism.

With the demise of traditional media as an outlet, non-profits organizations, sport teams and especially major corporations will turn to open and transparent online newsrooms.

This new corporate journalism will spur the growth of company online newsrooms, which will constantly need to be fed timely updated stories and photos, as opposed to being simply dull repositories for boring press releases. Corporate management will become much more willing to invest in the newsroom when they realize the audience they reach are greater and sustainable.

We at The News Group Net ( have built and staff for Imperial Sugar (, one of the first full time corporate online newsrooms offering a journalistic approach.

The future is online. Journalism, journalist and journalism schools well need to prepare now, or be left behind.

Oct. 12 2009 02:14 PM
greg blonder from NJ

I think Michael and his team are filling a great gap in the public's access of scientific knowledge, but not providing the perspective and balance which stands in the way of an educated citizenship. Even selecting the best of the best PR releases, with additional context and comments, obscures the bigger picture of false ideas embedded from the past, and unscientific clutter from the present. The public's mind is unprepared to absorb new knowledge, when the old knowledge foundation is so faulty. Mere reporting is not enough- we should provide open and transparent guide, free from interference, that puts scientific observations in perspective. Here is one such approach- take a look at which is slowly sputtering to a launch.

Oct. 11 2009 01:47 PM

During the interview, Schoenfeld says that he's not interested in glamorizing or exaggerating scientific claims -- no doubt that's true, making me very excited about a new Wonder Drug that may treat Cancer and Addiction:


Oct. 11 2009 01:47 PM
Jay Greene from St Helena CA

As Bob was intro'ing this piece on research universities bypassing the media, I thought he would be talking about an equally interesting story, namely the hype generated by the researchers themselves in announcing their results.

Last Spring the discovery of a forty million year o;ld monkey was the kickoff for a full media roll out, including a History Channel program.

Last week scientists announced their analysis of a fifteen year old find, the 4.4 million year old Ardipithecus ramidus - Ardi for short - with simultaneous press conferences in Washington DC and Addis Ababa Ethiopia AND a Discovery Channel program airing Sunday. It turns out Discovery paid for part of the research.

Previously, scientists were content with a press conference announcement for the general media and peer reviewed papers for the professionals.

Oct. 10 2009 03:57 PM

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