NEW YORK—Some 20 eminent scientists and a similar number of television news executives will meet to try to bridge the distance between the scientists who make the news and the journalists who broadcast it. The December 12-13 meeting in Tarrytown, N.Y., is the first step in a long-term project made possible by a $876,225 grant to the Scientists Institute for Public Information (SIPI) from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation of Chicago.

“I used to call it a gap. Now it’s a chasm,” said Fred Jerome of SIPI, which operates the Media Resource Service that links inquiring journalists with scientists on a variety of issues. Jerome said only 15 percent of the calls received by the media hot line from reporters, a figure that reflects television’s scanty coverage of science.

“Commercial television clearly provides the least coverage of science compared with other media, has the fewest people assigned...

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