State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Sustainability Management Faculty Member on the Relationship between Science and Journalism

Claudia Dreifus, science journalist for the New York Times, will be teaching the course, Writing about Global Science for the International Media for the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program this spring. She recently participated in a University of South Florida (USF) Health forum for distinguished scientists and journalists. Those taking part in the forum, convened by Research! America, USF and Pfizer, discussed how scientists and journalists might work together to better educate the public on important scientific and medical issues. More information about the forum may be found at

“The science sections are disappearing from newspapers,” said Dreifus, and therefore the public is turning to the Internet for information on science. Although scientific information is now more widely available, there is, unfortunately, more inaccurate information available as well. It is now essential for the scientific community to be well versed in communicating to the public in order to broaden the accurate understanding of complex scientific and medical topics.

Dreifus’ course attempts to address this situation.  Through her course, students in the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program will learn how to effectively communicate scientific topics through the perspective of a journalist.  As Dreifus explains, “Students currently working in the business world or the public sector will, by doing actual journalism, see what the news looks like from the other side of the desk.”

Writing about Global Science for the International Media is part of the 36-credit Master of Science in Sustainability Management program, jointly offered through the School of Continuing Education and the Earth Institute, Columbia University. The program is ideal for practitioners and aspiring professionals eager to learn practical management techniques and sophisticated environmental measurement tools. To learn more about the program, please visit

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