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When science hits the news agenda, it’s our job to pass on to journalists as much accurate information as we can, as quickly as possible. In order to do this we send out quotes from experts, statistical analyses of scientific studies and Factsheets, in addition to running regular press briefings on the latest hot topic. Find our most recent Roundups and Rapid Reactions, briefings, Factsheets and ‘Before the Headlines’ analyses below, or use the icons on the right.

As well as working with experienced specialist reporters, we also provide support to new reporters, editors and generalists through a series of publications, including ‘Briefing Notes’ on controversial topics, and guidelines on science and health reporting, and by working with the National Coordinator for Science Training for Journalists.

see publications for journalists

Need an expert to interview? The SMC’s database is not quite like any other. Those on it are selected not just for their proven expertise, but also for their willingness and ability to engage with the media when their area of work hits the headlines. The quality of our experts is important to us. The SMC recruits scientists, engineers and others who work for respected institutions, publish in peer-reviewed journals and have a track record of quality research in their specialist field.

The SMC was established to provide assistance to the national news media when covering controversial science stories or breaking news. As such the SMC’s priority remains to support new reporters at UK national news media outlets. We prioritise working with science, health and environment specialists on controversial news pieces, but also provide support for journalists pursuing original and long-form pieces by advising on the best experts to approach and helping to set up visits to institutions.

You can get in touch with using the details below. Please be aware though, if your enquiry does not fit our remit we may not be able to help or may refer you on to external scientific institutions.

 

t: +44 (0)20 7611 8300

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expert reaction to study investigating the long-term outcomes associated with traumatic brain injury in childhood

Researchers publishing in PLOS Medicine have assessed the long-term impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in young people and looked at the effect on early death, educational attainment, welfare requirements and need for psychiatric care. The study involved a large number of Swedish people who recorded a TBI (including concussion) before the age of 25 and compared them to siblings and others who had not had these injuries. read more

long-term impact of traumatic brain injuries in young people

Concerns over the long-term impacts of head injuries have frequently made the news, but the focus has largely been on professional sports players. Researchers have now assessed the long-term impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in young people and looked at the effect on early death, educational attainment, welfare requirements and need for psychiatric care. The study, published in PLOS Medicine, involved a large number of Swedish people who recorded a TBI (including concussion) before the age of 25 and compared them to siblings and others who had not had these injuries. read more

impacts of neonicotinoid use on long-term population changes in wild bees in England

Neonicotinoid insecticides have been implicated in the decline of bees, yet the evidence is derived from short-term laboratory studies on honeybees and bumblebees. Scientists from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology have investigated the long term, large scale impact of neonicotinoids on 62 wild bee species across England and are publishing in Nature Communications on August 16th. read more

new findings on badgers and cattle

As the government prepares to announce the widespread rollout of badger culling, intended to protect cattle from bovine tuberculosis (TB), new research, carried out by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Imperial College London and published in Ecology Letters, has looked into how often badgers and cattle meet. Badgers clearly contribute to the cattle TB problem, but how the disease transmits between the two species has remained a mystery. Using cutting-edge technology to track large numbers of badgers and cattle simultaneously, the team looked into whether and how often badgers came close enough to cattle to transmit TB directly, and whether there may be other means of transmission through contamination of the environment. read more

expert reaction to acupuncture and mild cognitive impairment

Researchers publishing in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine have conducted a meta-analysis of five trials and report that acupuncture appears to be effective for the treatment of a pre-dementia condition (amnestic mild cognitive impairment) though they caution that the studies in question had low methodological quality. read more

liquid biopsies for cancer

To give cancer patients the best treatment, doctors need important information about the genetic and molecular make-up of their cancer. Tissue biopsies are often used but they do not always give a comprehensive view of the cancer, they can be invasive, and it may not be possible to repeat them very often. With major changes in the ease and cost of DNA sequencing, scientists are now working on the possibility of ‘fishing’ out genetic material from tumours via the blood in order to get information about the make-up of the patient’s cancer. The aim is for these ‘liquid biopsies’ to give a comprehensive view of the way a cancer progresses, which can help identify which treatments to give, and may spot when the cancer is becoming resistant to its current treatment. The tests can also give valuable information to cancer researchers that could develop treatments in the future. Already some UK patients on clinical trials are being given these liquid biopsies as part of their treatment. read more

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