Usually I don't read printed newspapers anymore. From time to time, I enjoy perusing weekly papers, such as Die Zeit, or the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine: I discard parts labelled "Money and Financial Markets", "Travel", "Cars", and work through the rest of the journal. Things are different if I travel. Then, I try to read local newspapers to get a better impression of what's going on in the country I am visiting. So, when visiting Waterloo last week, I tried not to be in the way of Sabine unpacking boxes, and studied The Globe and Mail instead.
Of course, I was curious about the science coverage in that paper, which, as I learned, is one of the leading and most widespread ones in Canada. To my disappointment, there was no such thing as a section labelled "Science", not even once a week in, say, the Thursday edition. I was quite sure that I had not just missed it.
But then, I realised something quite remarkable: The Globe and Mail may have no special "Science" section, but it runs a science-related story in every issue, in the main part, often on the title page, and even above the fold: There was detailed reporting about Craig Venter's genome, the SABLE-3 balloon experiment, the asteroid scattering event that may have triggered the KT impact. The Saturday edition on the photo featured a story about new measures to fight multiple-resistant pathogens in Canada's largest research hospital on the title page!
Now, I do not know if The Globe and Mail once had run a specific science section that has been economised - the online edition has such a category. But, anyway, this way of presenting science stories "undercover", without specially labelling them as such, appears very appealing to me: It could make people read the stories, and learn something interesting about science, who otherwise would have ignored them right from the beginning, as I do with stories about cars and money in the Sunday paper.
By removing the potential barrier created by labelling a story explicitly as "science", this may foster interest in scientific topics and appreciation and understanding for science among people otherwise discouraged to read such news. It also conveys very nicely that science is not something detached from everyday life, but, in fact, an integral part of it.
It may be a great idea in general for newspapers to dismantle explicit science sections, and relocate the science stories among the other parts of the journal!