Patricia Fernández de Lis is not a newcomer to science journalism, although Materia, the science news website she manages, was born just over a year ago. She wrote for El País for a long time and was editor-in-chief of the science section of Público. She was free to develop her love for science there, creating an award-winning space. From the ashes of the section, deceased alongside Público, Materia was born. It is a web portal where rigour and integrity are capital, and they expect to be an adequate alternative to all the pseudoscience on the Internet, as Patricia claims. But what is the situation of science journalism in Spain today? Is the web an appropriate channel for science communication? How is the relationship between scientists and journalists? Patricia knows first hand how difficult it is for an Internet project to survive today. And furthermore, how difficult it is to get a space for science in traditional media. During her intervention in the seminar «Science and the Press», organized by Mètode, we talked to her about these and other matters.
What are the qualities of a good science journalist?
But despite their importance, today’s landscape does not look promising for science journalists. Why do you think science journalists are vanishing from the office more than any other branch?
And the vanishing of science information from the media can lead to believe that the audience in general is not interested in science, do you think?
You were editor-in-chief of the science section in Público. It won many awards and positioned the newspaper as a reference in science information. But after the closing of Público, how did the idea for Materia appear?
You defend that the present of science communication is on the Internet. However, some experts are still reluctant to this medium. What disadvantages do you think the Internet has in front of traditional media?
In Mètode we study the relationship between the two cultures, science and journalism, and how they nurture each other. In Materia, what is your experience when collaborating with scientists?
Andrea González Garrigas. Journalist.
«A science journalist needs the same as any other journalist: curiosity and common sense»
«There are more and more scientists who are conscious of the transforming power of the media and want to contribute and help that transformation»