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Updates to this Privacy Notice
For more than 21 years, Science Friday has presented relevant and engaging science information to the general public. We take seriously our reputation as an un-biased and trustworthy source for science news. Our editorial integrity is essential for success in our mission to fill the growing news void with well-balanced coverage of science and technology.
Science Friday depends on support from foundation and corporate sponsors that require online and on-air recognition.
To protect our journalistic integrity, we have adopted guidelines that govern approval of underwriters and define the ways by which underwriters achieve recognition on-air and in associated promotions.
Terms for underwriting (grantmakers and sponsors) candidates:
First and foremost, underwriters may not exert editorial approval or control, or in any way act to influence the content of any programming.
Underwriters will not be accepted where the public might reasonably perceive bias in program content based on the public position or interests of the underwriter.
Underwriters will not be accepted that are involved in illegal activities or in a consistent pattern of unethical behavior.
Science Friday reserves the right to determine that an underwriter or the content of a proposed announcement are inconsistent with the Science Friday mission. In these cases, sponsorship may be declined.
Must not be political organizations or engage in political advocacy for candidates or causes.
Science Friday accepts sponsorship as an endorsement of the value of the Science Friday radio program and our other media products. Any implied endorsement flows from the underwriter to Science Friday, not Science Friday to the underwriter.
Terms for on-air underwriting recognition:
Science Friday requires the submission of underwriting credits for review; credits that in the judgment of Science Friday do not meet the standards contained herein may be withheld from distribution until altered to comply with these guidelines.
The interpretation and application of this policy is the responsibility of Science Friday management, whose decisions regarding the approval of underwriters and underwriting credits are final.
Underwriting credits acknowledge organizations that fund Science Friday programming. The legal name of the underwriter will be read immediately after the standard opening phrase, "Support for Science Friday comes from..."
Underwriting credits MUST:
Be in compliance with standard FCC guidelines
Be non-commercial in nature and consistent with the tone and content of public radio programming.
Be entirely factual, non-promotional, and value-neutral.
Be 10 seconds in length (not including the standard opening phrase).
Underwriting credits MAY include:
A description of products or services, including brand names.
The location of underwriter, products, or services.
A description of key or target markets.
Long-standing slogans that identify the underwriter's business.
A non-promotional telephone number and/or website address, but not include a "call to action."
Underwriting credits MAY NOT include:
Qualitative or comparative statements.
Advocacy for a specific policy, candidate, or legislation.
Ambiguous or misleading statements.
Pricing information, discounts or incentives to purchase products or services.
In addition to these legal requirements, underwriting announcements must be in keeping with the non-commercial nature of our program. To maintain the consistency of our sound, all messages are read or prerecorded by the program host or professional on-air announcers provided by Science Friday, its producers, or affiliates.
Credits are generally aired near the beginning or end of the program and at natural intervals within the program. Credits may be changed or rotated within a program. Placement of an underwriting credit adjacent to a particular story or story topic can not be guaranteed.
These guidelines are revised as required to maintain compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy and with generally accepted industry practice.
To learn more about sponsorship and/or receive a sponsorship proposal, please e-mail.
Science Friday Underwriting policy last updated 03/19/2012
This description of Science Friday’s journalistic guidelines is designed to supplement NPR’s Statement of Ethics and Practices (to which we adhere), and set out our expectations for the conduct of our editorial staff.
A primary mission of Science Friday is to fill the growing news void with well-balanced coverage of science and technology. The standards and practices laid out here are designed to support that mission and safeguard our reputation as an un-biased and trustworthy source of science news.
At Science Friday, we recognize our responsibility to inform and educate the public about science and its role in contemporary life. We take this responsibility seriously and assert that:
Our facts are accurate and fairly presented;
Our analyses represent our best independent judgments rather than our preferences, or those of our sources or underwriters; and
There are no hidden agendas in any of our journalistic undertakings.
To assure our audience of our editorial integrity, we hereby articulate some of the policies we have implemented in support of Science Friday’s core values of accuracy, fairness, and impartiality.
Science Friday makes every effort to report truthful, accurate information.
We will correct or clarify errors of fact when we believe there is an omission, distortion, or circumstance resulting in an incorrect or unfair impression.
We don’t plagiarize or take credit for others’ work, ideas, or analysis.
We are clear with readers about the source of information in our published and broadcast work, including commentaries. If we use quotes or other material gathered by another news organization, we credit the original source.
We give credit where it is due for content of any kind, including articles, photographs, graphics, Web sites, research and news service reports that contribute to our work.
We take care to distinguish between original reporting and news aggregation or analysis, as well as between content created by members of staff and content created by outside contributors. However, any content that appears on our official Web sites -- regardless of authorship -- is subject to the newsroom's standards of fairness, taste, and legal propriety. Nothing may be published under the Science Friday name unless it has gone through an editing or moderating process.
Science Friday will approach stories by engaging in an honest and fair inquiry into the matter at hand. No story is fair if it omits facts of major importance or significance. Fairness includes completeness. We vigorously pursue comment from all subjects in our coverage. We attempt to examine the many sides of issues and strive for balance among competing interests. Fairness does not require that equal time be accorded to conflicting opinions. However, it does require the acknowledgment of, and responsible statement of, those conflicting opinions.
Specifically, in pursuit of fairness, Science Friday will:
Approach stories with an open and skeptical mind and a determination, through extensive research, to acquaint themselves with a wide range of viewpoints;
Try to keep personal bias and opinion from influencing their pursuit of a story;
Carefully examine contrary information;
Exercise care in checking the accuracy and credibility of all information we receive, especially as it may relate to accusations of wrongdoing;
Give individuals or entities who are the subject of attack the opportunity to respond to those attacks;
Represent fairly the words and actions of the people portrayed;
Inform individuals who are the subject of an investigative interview of the general areas of questioning in advance and, if important for accuracy, will give those individuals an opportunity to check their records; and
Try to present the significant facts a viewer would need to understand what he or she is seeing, including appropriate information to frame the program.
Impartiality lies at the heart of public service and is the core of Science Friday’s commitment to educate and inform our audience about science and technology.
Due impartiality is often more than a simple matter of 'balance' between opposing viewpoints. Equally, it does not require absolute neutrality on every issue or detachment from fundamental democratic principles.
We are independent and we serve the public. We do not engage in outside activities that could conflict with our duty to the public or lessen the value of our services to Science Friday.
We publicly disclose when we have relevant personal or corporate involvement in anything we cover or publish, including when a staff member has a substantial relationship with a person cited in the coverage.
A firewall is maintained between Science Friday journalists and funders. Foundations and corporations that provide underwriting support do not exert editorial approval or control, or in any way act to influence the content of any programming.
If Science Friday reports on an organization or individual who funds us, we will disclose that relationship on air if the subject of the report is directly related to the thrust of the grant we received.
Read our underwriting policy.
If you have questions about Science Friday's journalistic guidelines, please e-mail.
Science Friday Code of Ethics last updated 03/19/2012
Thank you for being part of the Science Friday community! Our online forums (including our Web site, Facebook, Twitter, and more) are designed to foster conversations with and among our audience. We enjoy engaging with you in interesting, informative, and entertaining discussions about science, technology, the universe, and everything.
To ensure that everyone feels comfortable joining the conversation, we ask you to please follow a few ground rules for participation. The code of conduct for our online communities, and some of the language here, draws on similar policies in place in the active online communities at BoingBoing and Nature.
First, a disclaimer:
When you contribute content to our sites, you retain ownership of the copyright, and you also grant permission to us to display and distribute it. In addition, you are responsible for the content of that material. Science Friday has no responsibility for the content of any messages or information posted by readers. However, Science Friday retains the right, to review, edit, or delete from the service any third-party material that we deem to be illegal, offensive, or otherwise inappropriate.
Now, here are some dos and don’ts:
Share more information about the subject of the post. -- We want to hear your unique perspective, a constructive argument, a thoughtful question, or new information.
Provide additional context – Does the subject of our story connect to another story with additional information, a different angle, or a quirky tidbit that adds detail? Make the connection.
Express opinions that move the debate forward -- Disagree with what we or other commenters have to say? Respectfully make your case.
Stay on topic – Science Friday’s communities are designed to be primarily a forum for discussion of science and related issues. There are lots of other Web sites you can use to discuss other topics. Please keep within the bounds of a topic as initiated. Do not sway the discussion towards your own pet topic or set off on a tangent.
Suggest factual corrections -- We do our best, but if we’ve made a mistake, we want to fix it. We welcome alerts about typos, incorrect names, factual errors, and the like.
Please Don’t (and most of this should be self-evident, but just to be clear):
Don’t share offensive or inappropriate comments -- Please consider how your comment might be interpreted by others. Please make your comment clear to ensure that it is not misunderstood. Many different types of people of different ages may view your comment.
You must not make racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, or otherwise offensive comments.
You must not make defamatory, false, or misleading comments.
Do not personally insult, bully, threaten, or harass the writers or your fellow commenters. Comments referring to other commenters as "idiots," "retards," or the like will be deleted.
Watch your language. Do not use swear words, profane, crude, or sexual language. Replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
Don’t spam – Junk comments and promotional messages are not welcome and will be deleted.
Don’t infringe copyright -- Posting copyright material without permission is unlawful. If you want to discuss a paper or a news story, provide a link, give attribution, or summarize in your own words.
Don't include e-mail addresses, physical addresses, or phone numbers in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion, or for the purpose of harassing or publicly exposing the private data of others.
Science Friday does depend on support from foundation and corporate sources, but funders have no editorial control. We are transparent about our relationships with underwriters. For more on that, please see our underwriting policy and our code of ethics.
Please do cite your sources. Your opinion adds much more to the conversation if it is supported with evidence and facts. Also, please attribute quotes and paraphrased comments to their proper sources.
Please don't make the same comment in more than one thread or repeat yourself (or anyone else) in the same thread. If you accidentally double-post, don't worry, our moderators try to tidy up those sorts of errors.
If you have a personal connection to a story or topic, you should disclose your connection.
Science Friday reserves the right to delete or mark as spam any and all comments we find to be in violation of our community standards. Anyone who repeatedly violates these commenting guidelines may be blocked from future commenting in Science Friday online communities.