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Tag Archives: journalism
We are pleased to circulate this announcement by the Finnish colleague Eeva Pitkälä, Conference Director of the 8th World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ) that will take place in Helsinki from June 24 to 28, 2013.
The first details of WCSJ2013 have now been revealed at a press conference in the AAAS Annual meeting.
The next important WCSJ 2013 dates are Call for session proposals, open on March 1, 2012, exhibition details available by June 2012 and the early registration, that begins September 10, 2012.
WCSJ 2013 takes place right after the Midsummer festivities and thus it is a unique time of the year in Helsinki when the summer nights are nearly as bright as the days. The venue of the conference is the central campus of the University of Helsinki.
In Helsinki, you will meet hundreds of members of WFSJ, aspiring future science journalists, top-level scientists and colleagues from different countries.
- What will make WCSJ2013, Helsinki, a must-attend is its emphasis on creativity and networking. Times certainly are hard for science journalists in Finland and all over the world. Thus, the core of the conference is that our professional questions must be addressed in depth, says Ms. Lipponen, Chair of the Organising Committee and President of the Finnish Association of Science Editors and Journalists, FASEJ.
- In WCSJ2013, having fun is a crucial part of the programme. Achieving good intellectual results by having fun is not far-fetched. According to the International Programme for International Student Assessment, PISA, Finland has an excellent reputation in education, – Learning from colleagues is the basic idea behind the Science Journalism COOPeration programmes, a unique effort to train science journalists in developing countries. That is also a good example for us in Helsinki 2013, points Mr. Vesa Niinikangas, the President of WFSJ and General secretary of FASEJ.
Having met many of you in London and Doha and witnessed the great effort and passion you all put into your work, I would love to see you in Helsinki in 2013
Conference Director WCSJ 2013, Helsinki, 24 – 28, June 2013
8th World Conference of Science Journalists
Here you can download the pdf of the invitation leaflet.
«Know thyself, science writer»: in a time of crisis that is bringing deep changes in the media landscape and according to many is putting science journalism “under threat”, the association “Science Writers in Italy” just launched an online survey asking science journalists from all over the world – and especially from Europe – to dedicate a few minutes of their busy time to help sketch the profession as they live it. Continue reading
The following article, by Swim board member Daniela Ovadia, has just come out in the newsletter of EUSJA.
European science journalism was represented at WCSJ 2011 in Doha also by two panelists from Italy: Fabio Turone, who produced a panel on the communication of risk, and myself, in charge of a session on bioethics.
Moderated by Wilson Da Silva, editor in chief of Cosmos, the most widely read science popularisation magazine in Australia, the panel on risk offered three very diverse points of view on the issue.
Nigeria’s Akin Jimoh, who is the anglophone coordinator for the SjCOOP mentoring program of the World Federation of Science Journalists, discussed about the many difficulties a reporter has to overcome when trying to involve the population of African countries in the debate on risk, difficulties summarised in the picture of two motorbike riders wearing ludicrous – but not uncommon – substitutes for the helmets mandated by the law.
The lively and entertaining contribution by former TV reporter David Ropeik, book author and instructor at Harvard, focused on the elements that contribute to make objective hazards more or less scary, which should be known and used with caution by media professionals: from trust to familiarity, from choice to uncertainty through the dualism between risk and benefit, natural and man-made and between catastrophic and chronic, and more. His extensive research on the perception of risk was recently summarised in the book “How Risky Is It, Really?: Why Our Fears Don’t Always Match the Facts”.
Finally Fabio Turone analysed the available medical litterature on the quality of health and specifically risk reporting, to stress the importance of providing lifelong training for science journalists by journalists, specifically to practice and reinforce a critical approach. He presented the existing attempts at establishing a stronger and more effective alliance among scientific institutions, health policy makers and the media professionals in which the latter are considered “professional equals”.
Bioethics is more and more important in health reporting. It’s harder and harder for a science journalist to separate opinion from scientific evidence in topics such as end of life decisions or the assessment of consciousness and coma. The panel in Doha was composed by journalists from the US – Joe Palca, science correspondent from NPR, and Jon Cohen, correspondent with Science who acted as moderator – the Canadian bioethicist Eric Racine, from Mc Gill University in Montréal, and myself. Racine illustrated his research on media reporting in cases that have a strong bioethical angle, especially with regards with neurology and neuroscience. He discussed the media coverage of the Terry Schiavo case in American and British newspapers through the analysis of the language used to describe her medical history, the most common mistakes in reporting and the misunderstanding of the experts’ comments.
Joe Palca discussed the hypes and hopes of stem cell research in neurological diseases and raised the question of how to report such an important issue. Finally I summarized two important cases involving end-of-life decisions that were debated in Italy for many years: the case of Piergiorgio Welby (an ASL patient who asked to withdraw assisted ventilation) and the case of Eluana Englaro (a coma patient with many similarietis with the Schiavo’s story). The speech benefited from the work by Gianna Milano, an Italian colleague who followed both cases for many years but could not attend the Doha conference.
The final discussion on the role of science journalism in ethical and scientific controversies sparked a debate about the difference between informing and teaching. The majority declared that the role of journalists is to inform and not to teach nor to judge the experts’ or the families’ position. An interesting part of the discussion involved colleagues from Islamic countries, where the bioethics debate is still in its infancy but is an emerging issue.
We have just received this letter from the European Commission for Health and Consumers:
The Directorate General for Health and Consumers is pleased to announce you that the 3rd edition of the EU Health Prize for Journalists was launched on the 30th of March and the submission deadline is set on the 24th of July 2011.
The prize aims at stimulating high-quality journalism that raises awareness of issues related to healthcare and patients’ rights. The scope of topics ranges from Alzheimers to vaccination and a special prize will be awarded to the best article on smoking cessation. The dedicated website in 22 languages is http://ec.europa.eu/health-eu/journalist_prize/2011/index_en.htm
We want to spread as much as possible this letter from Nadia El-Awady, President of the World Federation of Science Journalists, so we ask you to diffuse it to any professional who you think might be interested in attending the World Conference of Science Journalists taking place in Doha (Qatar) next June. Continue reading
Our newly founded association of science writers based in Milan, Italy, welcomes new members.
The website is in the making, but we already have many activities up and running: if you want to know more, please contact us at
info (@) sciencewriters.it
La nostra associazione di science writers da poco costituita a Milano accoglie con piacere nuovi aderenti.
Il sito è in costruzione, ma abbiamo numerose attività già in corso: se vuoi saperne di più, contattaci all’indirizzo e-mail qui sopra.
The main goals of the association are:
- to promote the circulation of accurate information about science and technology in society, through all media directed to the general public and the scientific community
- to promote the analysis of the scientific enterprise and of its meaning for society in accordance to the highest journalistic standards
- to provide its members with services and tools useful for improving their work
- to stimulate the professional growth through courses and other initiatives for continuing education
- to bring out the best examples of science writing
- to promote the professional interests of science reporters, editors, popularizers and science writers in general
- to favor cooperation and debate within the professional community and with the scientific community, nationally and internationally
- to promote multidisciplinary research on all aspects of science and science writing.
L’Associazione nasce come libero consesso di tutti coloro che operano professionalmente nel mondo dell’informazione e divulgazione scientifica e tecnologica.
In particolare, l’Associazione si propone di:
- promuovere nella società la diffusione di informazioni accurate sulla scienza e la tecnologia attraverso tutti i media normalmente impiegati per informare il pubblico e la comunità scientifica;
- promuovere l’analisi delle attività scientifiche e del loro significato per la società secondo i più elevati standard del giornalismo;
- fornire ai suoi associati servizi e strumenti che li aiutino nello svolgimento del loro lavoro;
- stimolare la crescita professionale degli associati ideando e realizzando corsi e altre iniziative di formazione e di aggiornamento professionale;
- realizzare e diffondere materiale informativo e divulgativo;
- valorizzare i migliori esempi di giornalismo scientifico;
- promuovere gli interessi professionali della comunità dei giornalisti, redattori e divulgatori scientifici (e tutti i professionisti che si riconoscano nella definizione inglese di “science writer”) in Italia;
- favorire la cooperazione e il confronto con la comunità internazionale dei giornalisti, redattori e divulgatori scientifici e più in generale dei “science writers”;
- favorire la cooperazione e il confronto con la comunità scientifica, a livello nazionale e internazionale;
- attivare rapporti sinergici con altre associazioni, enti, istituzioni, imprese, Università e centri di ricerca in Italia e all’estero per l’ideazione e la realizzazione di iniziative che si inquadrino nelle sue finalità;
- realizzare attività di ricerca scientifica e culturale sul tema dell’informazione, divulgazione e comunicazione scientifica per suo conto o in collaborazione con altre associazioni, professionisti, enti pubblici e privati, Università e centri di ricerca in Italia e all’estero;
- promuovere e patrocinare ogni tipo di iniziativa atta ad acrescere la qualificazione professionale dei suoi associati e diffondere nella società la conoscenza del giornalismo, dell’informazione, dell’editoria e della comunicazione in ambito scientifico e tecnologico.