Interview with Laia Torres

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Laia_torres_3Lucía Sapiña

Laia Torres, editor of the magazine Investigación y ciencia, told us about science communication in her publication. Investigación y ciencia is the Spanish edition of renowned Scientific American, and since 2009, part of the Nature editorial group. «Accuracy and clarity are the keys to this magazine ’s success», the editor claims. Laia Torres shows us the peculiarities of Investigación y ciencia, one of the benchmark magazines in high science communication.

One of the problems journalists face is how to address science information in order to make it appealing and educational. What are the keys to draw the attention of the reader, in your opinion?
In our magazine, unlike for example Muy interesante, we have the advantage that our audience is already interested in science. We do not need to dress it with colours or bright lights to make it attractive because they are already interested. We can afford to spend our energy in explaining things in deep, more extensively, and not in trying to convince them that it is interesting, because they already know.

What do you think are the main differences between the fields of science and journalism? Are they irreconcilable?
They are two different cultures, with different objectives, but by all means reconcilable. The key is in dialogue and collaboration. Science and journalism reach where each other cannot, and the dialogue is always fruitful. In fact, that is what we do every day. You just have to be keen and share knowledge.

Which one of these would you prefer for your science communication magazine: a journalist with a notion of science or a scientist with knowledge about journalism?
In our case, due to the level of communication we do, it is preferable to have a scientist with a notion about, and tools for, communication. When you need to explain things in detail and depth, it is easier, from our experience, to do it when the editor possesses more scientific knowledge.

Social networks and the information age modified communication reality. How did new technologies change your magazine? Do you think written press has a future in your field?
I believe it does have a future. Every format will coexist. New digital formats have to be explored, but they will coexist because they are very different.

Investigación y ciencia is the Spanish edition of Scientific American. What does it mean in regard to the American edition?
We adapt content to the interests of Spanish society. If an article in Scientific American deals with a very local issue, we do not publish it in Spain. And if there is an issue of capital importance in Spain, we look for a Spanish or Latin-American expert to write it.

Eva Maria Javier. Journalism Student at the University of Valencia.
© Mètode 2013.

 

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«In Investigación y ciencia we have the advantage that our audience is already interested in science»

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

«When you need to explain things in detail and depth, it is easier, from our experience, to do it when the editor possesses more scientific knowledge»

 

© Mètode 2013

Estudiant de Periodisme de la Universitat de València.