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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
e: smc@sciencemediacentre.org

 

concussion: a blockbuster issue?

Next week the UK will see the launch of Concussion, a Hollywood blockbuster starring Will Smith and Alec Baldwin, which tells the true story of how the sports-related brain trauma CTE was first discovered in former NFL players. This weekend, the Six Nations will kick off almost a year to the day after George North, the Welsh winger, was twice knocked unconscious in his side’s opening match against England but was controversially allowed to continue playing. Unlike America, the UK is only now waking up to the potential long-term consequences of concussion in contact sports. read more

expert reaction to new review on the impact of smoking bans on harms of passive smoking

Passive smoking has long been known to pose a health risk to non-smokers, and efforts to reduce levels of second-hand smoke have seen bans on indoor smoking in public and work places introduced in a number of countries, states, and regions. Publishing in the Cochrane Library a group of scientists have reported that national smoking legislation does reduce the harms of passive smoking and that populations benefit from reduced exposure to passive smoke. read more

have national smoking bans worked in reducing harms in passive smoking?

Passive smoking has long been known to pose a health risk to non-smokers, and efforts to reduce levels of second-hand smoke have seen bans on indoor smoking in public and work places introduced in a number of countries, states, and regions. A previous Cochrane Review in 2010 examined whether these smoking bans had actually reduced the levels of smoke in public places, and now an updated review has looked at evidence into the effects of the bans on passive smoking. The most robust evidence yet, published in the Cochrane Library, suggests that national smoking legislation does reduce the harms of passive smoking and that populations benefit from reduced exposure to passive smoke. read more

sedentary behaviour and diabetes

Publishing in the journal Diabetologia, a group of scientists have investigated the results from a study of activity and report that sedentary time was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. read more

expert reaction to antidepressant use and suicidality

The effect of specific types of antidepressants on mortality, suicide and aggressive behaviours is the subject of a paper published in The BMJ in which the authors report an increased risk of suicidality and aggression in children and adolescents taking those dru read more

expert reaction to genetic association to schizophrenia

A study published in the journal Nature has reported an association between varying levels of protein brought about by different forms of a specific gene and schizophrenia in humans. The authors suggest that higher levels of the protein might lead to a number of connections between nerve cells, which is characteristic of individuals with schizophrenia read more

expert reaction to alternative for animals during toxicity testing

Studies which assess the toxicology of new drugs typically have some element of animal testing, and a paper published in the journal Nature Communications has described a method using in vitro tests which are carried out without animals. The authors report that these tests were better than animal models at predicting toxicity of drugs to humans. read more

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