Stephen Ward at panel on bioethics

Stephen Ward, Director and Professor at George S. Turnbull Center Portland Center School of Journalism and Communication, presented to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethics on Feb. 10 in Washington, DC.

Ward, along with three other speakers, led the fourth session of the day discussing the ethics of communication about neuroscience research by scientists and journalists, followed by a Q&A session.

Ward spoke specifically on how journalism ethics originated in an earlier era of mainstream professional journalism and how that model is no longer dominant today.

“People concerned about science journalism must update their model of the public sphere to think of citizens as now media creators and as participants in multiple networks of discussions on science,” Ward said. “This global, interactive form of media creates a new context in which we must redefine what science communication means.”

Ward’s remarks focused on how although “new media platforms can create problems such as a glut of unreliable and alleged scientific fact, they also create a great opportunity for everyone — not just science institutes — to use the new tools positively and to engage the public in important issues.”

—Hayley Lane, ’15 Journalism