It's a good thing we showed up early. There were only a handful of seats left at the Ironwood Stage and Grill, when we made our way down for a star-studded evening of Science Cafe.
This wasn't entirely unexpected. Jay Ingram is, after all, pretty much a rock star in the science media. His discussion with Valerie Sim, a neurologist specializing in prion research, about the pitfalls of reporting science data in the popular media, promised to be riveting.
And riveting it was:
- only 15% of a science show like Daily Planet is actually science
- "people make up their minds about controversial science, not based on data, but on social and cultural beliefs of groups to which they already belong" - Jay Ingram
- in a five minute story on a science show like Daily Planet, two of those five minutes are spent setting the context
- "when you have been a host as long as I have, you keep forgetting that this isn't your show" - Jay Ingram, on muscling in on hosting duties
- "I just wear layers" - Valerie Sim, on climate change
- "I think we're in this situation: in the past, policy was shaped by science, now science is shaped by policy" - Jay Ingram
- "every time you put a filter between you and the audience, you diminish the impact." - Jay Ingram
- "when you first start to interview you learn not to ask two questions at once, because the interviewee gets to choose which one to answer. Which I am going to do right now." - Jay Ingram