Preventing another Theranos Scandal: ABSW Science & Technology Journalism Summer School
The scandal surrounding Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, the company she set up to develop a new generation of blood-testing equipment, is still unfolding. Apart from anything else, we’ve yet to find out whether Holmes will go to jail. However, the case has already been well documented: there’s a book (Bad Blood), a podcast (The Dropout), a documentary (The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley). From what we know already, journalists were – at least in part – complicit in this company being able to fool investors, partners, patients, and the wider public. They were also instrumental in uncovering the Theranos fraud.
At the ABSW Science and Tech Writing Summer school this year, we are running a track of workshops aimed specifically at helping writers and journalists to uncover the truth behind tech stories. Held at UCL on July 8th, these sessions will kick off with a workshop on evaluating new technologies, led by Dr Sunny Bains, author of Explaining the Future: How to Research, Analyze, and Report on Emerging Technologies. Bill Goodwin, the multi-award-winning editor from Computer Weekly, will then look at how to investigate companies, followed by a panel discussion on related legal issues: from protecting sources, dealing with NDAs, and dealing with intellectual property issues.
The summer school will also include sessions on reading technical papers, writing features, and incorporating visuals, as well as sessions on developing a portfolio career, pitching, and a Meet the Editor session, followed by a talk by materials scientist, writer, broadcaster, and founder of the UCL Institute of Making, Prof Mark Miodownik, who will explain Why we need to talk about stuff.”
Registration is £45 for UCL and ABSW members