Andrew over at About.com (the geology page) posted his fantastic idea for the upcoming Fall AGU meeting. Prior to the meeting he tries to predict what ten research projects presented at AGU would get the most print. That is, which talks or posters would show up in newspapers, magazines, and on-line. He batted an astonishing .900 last meeting (see this for his write-up on the process.) Both the prediction and the post-meeting media analysis can serve as good starting off points for science and society discussion. If I were in a position where I had students, I could also see this as a good way to make the connection between current research and the science page of their local paper.
Andrew is soliciting entries to either be posted on his blog, or linked to from his About.com page. Links are above or in my sidebar.
As a note, I know that most of you when compiling your lists will search through the abstracts for exciting terms like “thermochronology,” “k-feldspar MDD modelling,” or “apatite (U-Th)/He.” For some unknown reason, print media has been slow to pick up on the Thermo-craze, so while I know that those are the stories you all think SHOULD be reported on the most, I’d suggest trying other themes. Someday print media will understand what the rest of the earth science community already knows (low-temperature thermochronology is hot), but for now, things like earthquakes, hazards, and climate change get all the ink.