7th World Conference of Science Journalists (Doha, 27-29 June 2011)
I’m writing to invite you to join us in Doha from 27 to 29 June for the 7th World Conference of Science Journalists 2011 (WCSJ2011).
It’s already been a remarkable start to the year for science reporters with the continuing Japanese crisis and floods and earthquakes around the world. At the conference we will explore the challenges of reporting science in a crisis. We will discuss pseudoscience, publishing popular science books, covering oil spills, how to confront “bad science”, and how the changing face of journalism is affecting all of us.
We will also bring you first-hand accounts of the dramatic changes sweeping the Arab world. Our vantage point is Qatar, the home of Al Jazeera whose journalists are leading the reporting on the revolutionary changes. And we’ll explore what these changes will mean for science in the Middle East.
Why Doha ? At the last conference in 2009 in London, we were proud to win the conference bid for Cairo. This past January and February 2011, we were even more proud to be Egyptian, as we joined millions of people who took to the streets to take control of our destiny. Together we witnessed and experienced some of the most difficult and some of the most rewarding times of our lives.
After the first phase of Egypt’s revolution was over with the resignation of former President Hosni Mubarak – and believe you me this is just the beginning – we met with our conference partners : NASW (America’s National Association of Science Writers, the Arab Science Journalists Association (ASJA), and the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ). We agreed, with regret, that there were too many uncertainties to hold the conference in Cairo in June.
So with much appreciated support from the Qatar Foundation, the WCSJ2011 Leading Partner, we have moved the Conference to the beautiful Arabian Gulf city of Doha.
We have over 180 speakers from all over the world and we will be bringing 100 developing country journalists to Doha.
The speakers include :
- Ahmed Zewail, Linus Pauling Chair of Chemistry and Professor of Physics, California Institute of Technology ; winner of 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry ; board member of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development
- Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Mariette di Christina, editor-in-chief of Scientific American
- Mariko Takahashi, science editor at Asahi Shimbun
- David Dickson, director, SciDev.net
- Alok Jha, The Guardian (UK)
- Andrew Jack, The Financial Times
- Wilson da Silva, editor-in-chief, Cosmos Magazine
- Shan Juan, China Daily
- Robert Lee Hotz, The Wall Street Journal
- Pallab Ghosh, BBC TV News
- Phil Hilts, MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellowships
- Neil Turok, The Perimeter Institute
- Maria Cheng, Associated Press
- Ivan Oransky, Reuters Health
- Henry Fountain, The New York Times
- Elsabe Brits, DieBurger
- Dominique Leglu, Science et Avenir
- Mohammed Yahia, Nature Middle East
- Diran Onifade, Nigerian Television Authority
- Deborah Cohen, British Medical Journal
- Chris Mooney, Discover
- Antonio Regalado, Latin America Contributor, Science Magazine
- Valeria Roman, Clarin
- Tom Siegfried, editor-in-chief, Science News
And so many more – all listed at www.wcsj2011.org/program.
We will refine the program over the next few weeks with additional sessions to suit the exciting revolutionary times in the Arab world, how they have been affected by social media and what kinds of impacts we expect to see on science and science journalism.
Our leading sponsor in Doha, the Qatar Foundation, will be pulling together an exciting list of fieldtrips on June 30 so conference participants can explore what is happening in terms of research and development in this rapidly growing country.
You can register now at http://www.wcsj2011.org/user/register and early bird discounts are available until 12 April. We are currently working out accommodation and venue details in Doha and will announce those options soon.
Many organisations have come together to make the conference a success. They include our lead sponsor : the Qatar Foundation ; and our silver partners : the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Science and EurekAlert ! ; and FAPESP. Our other supporters are listed below.
Be sure to follow @WCSJ2011 on twitter or to ‘like’ World Conference of Science Journalists on Facebook. And please email me if you have any questions or comments.
Nadia El-Awady President, World Federation of Science Journalists Co-Director, World Conference of Science Journalists 2011