Science Denial: Role of the Media (J226, Spring 2020)

November 1st, 2019  |  Published in Latest news

Who denies science? Why? And how does the media perpetuate the trend? This course offers a critical look at the top instances of “science denial” to make news in the last two decades, with an emphasis on four case studies: climate change, vaccines, GMOs, and evolution. We’ll take a critical look at the term “science denial,” who it serves, and what happens when it is used as a frame for media coverage of scientific issues and developments. Students in the course can expect to read media coverage of major science stories alongside scientific and academic studies. We’ll spend class time comparing the two to see how scientific and media industry norms interact to shape public understanding of science. Students in the course will work on a series of interdisciplinary group projects that will combine journalistic reporting with scientific literature review to produce a new genealogy of contemporary science denialism.

Course Info

Spring 2020
Graduate School of Journalism
J226, Section 1 | 3 units

Thursdays 9am – 12pm
108 North Gate Hall
Course Number 10897; Fieldwork Section 10898
Instructor: Professor Elena Conis

This course is offered through the Joint Graduate Program in Journalism and Public Health. Please email Professor Elena Conis at with any questions.

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