Monday June 24 at 11:00-15:30
Science journalism is seriously ill. It is staggering and the profession urgently needs a blood infusion if it wants to regain its vital force. There are a number of reasons for this deterioration, but the main one is that unlike traditional journalism, science journalism has never enjoyed real independence. While political journalists for example, had to fight to enter the political realm and become accepted as critical observers of governments and parliaments, science journalism was born out of science.
Many of the first science journalists were scientists who basically interpreted the findings of research for the public. The essential job of a journalist, namely to reveal both the sunny AND the dark side of a topic, to make different views visible, and to ask how the public, taxpayers, and consumers benefit or suffer from it, was not pursued by science journalists until quite recently. Investigative science journalism is under way which also looks into the funding of research and raises questions about whose interests are being served.
So a new breed of science journalist is developing, with no fear of controversy, and with an understanding of how to read the scientific language, how to decode statistics, and most important, how to apply journalistic research to tell a good story capable of reaching the mainstream of the public in a way that is both educational and enlightening on both the potentials AND the dangers of science.
The WCSJ 2013 capacity building session takes this into account and is structured accordingly:
1. The craft of investigation, presented by Fabio Turone, Science Journalist, SWIM, Italy.
2. How to interpret statistics, presented by Hans van Maanen, Science Writer, author of an online course on statistics, Netherlands.
3. The narrative art and storytelling, presented by Angela Posada-Swafford, US Senior Correspondent of the Spanish Muy interesante, USA, Colombia.
Wolfgang C. Goede, Munich, Germany, EUSJA Honorary Secretary.
Barbara Drillsma, President of the European Union of Science Journalists’ Associations EUSJA, UK.
The workshop will be hosted by EUSJA, the European Union of Science Journalists’ Associations, which is the umbrella organization of science journalists with more than 20 member organizations throughout Europe.
Barbara Drillsma started in journalism as a reporter more than 40 years ago. She has worked for a range of newspapers – weekly, provincial, and national –throughout the UK and was twice runner-up in the National Woman Journalist of the Year Award run by the Daily Telegraph. She was the NW of England correspondent for Melody Maker, writing on rock and pop music. She wrote one of the first environmental supplements for a leading magazine and has been a chief reporter, editor and special freelance correspondent for a number of titles.
Barbie set up her own science communication business twenty years ago. She worked for and contributed to New Scientist, The Biologist, Chemistry in Britain, and Channel Four News, and wrote corporate publications for a diverse group of organisations, including the British Science Association, the Royal Society and RSA. She has also worked for the European Science Foundation and Euroscience.
Barbie is co-author of a children’s book, “What’s inside the Human Body” editor of “Metamorphoses in Children’s Literature and Culture” and has written two books for the European Union of Science Journalists’ Association (EUSJA): “How to set up a science journalists association” and “The Barriers are Down” – a history of EUSJA.
Barbie worked for the UK’s Association of British Science Writers for 14 years, and it was through this work that she became involved with EUSJA. She has held a number of board positions and is now president of the group.
Hans van Maanen is a veteran Dutch science journalist. In 1981, after finishing his sociology studies he started as a reporter for Haarlems Dagblad. In 1998 he became science editor for the Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool. Since 2003 he has been a freelance journalist, writing both for newspapers and for (popular) science magazines. Today he is best known for a weekly critical column in De Volkskrant in which he exposes sloppy science and bad thinking.
He wrote some twenty books, mostly on games, statistics and popular science. In 2007, he was awarded both the ‘Van Walree Prize’ for medical writing by the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and the ‘Eureka Prize’ for science writing by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. He teaches science writing, journalism, and statistics at several Dutch universities.
Van Maanen authored the chapter ‘Understanding statistics’ for the WFSJ Online Course in Science Journalism, and was co-organiser of a session ‘How to read medical studies (and avoid pitfalls)’ at the World Conference of Science Journalists 2011.
Fabio Turone is the President of Science Writers in Italy, associate member of the board of the European Union of Science Journalists’ Associations (EUSJA), and a member of the U.S. National Association of Science Writers (since 1994), Investigative Reporters and Editors (since 2002), and the Association of Health Care Journalists (since 2004).
A member of the Italian Order of professional journalists since 1994, he is partner and director of the Agency Zoe of scientific and medical information based in Milan. He has worked as a staff writer and freelance contributor for several media (Sapere, Tempo Medico, L’Espresso, Panorama, la Repubblica, la Stampa, Il Corriere della sera, la Nuova ecologia, Salve, Telèma, Diario, Il Sole 24 Ore, Newton and Wired), and has been deputy editor of the monthly Occhio Clinico Pediatria for paediatricians, and the director of the Epidemiologic bulletin of Lombardy. Since 1998 he has been contributing to the British Medical Journal.
He has attended courses, seminars and conferences as a producer, a panellist, and an invited speaker. In recent years he produced a panel on risk at the 7th World Conference of Science Journalists in Doha (Qatar, 2011), held a keynote speech about science journalism at a seminar at UNESCO’s International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste and served as Science Journalism Expert for UNESCO in Sarajevo in November 2012. Currently he is managing editor of the scholarly, peer reviewed quarterly Italian Journal of Public Health, and Course Director at the Erice International School of Science Journalism.
Ángela Posada-Swafford is uniquely straddled upon three worlds, three cultures, and three styles of science journalism: Born in Colombia in 1960 and living in Miami Beach, she has been the US Senior Science Correspondent for Muy Interesante magazine, edited in Madrid, for a decade. She was the first Hispanic journalist to be selected as a Knight Fellow in Science Journalism at MIT and Harvard in 2000, and the first Hispanic selected by the NSF to work at the South Pole, Antarctica, as a journalist, in 2006. In October 2011 she served as the Co-chair of the 21st Conference of the National Society of Environmental Journalists, SEJ, in Miami. She has been writing stories on science, the environment, and exploration for 25 years for all media platforms, digital, print and broadcast, in Spanish and English. In the past her articles, radio documentaries and TV have appeared in Astronomy, WIRED, National Geographic, The Boston Globe, The Miami Herald, El Tiempo in Colombia, Gatopardo Magazine, National Public Radio and Discovery Channel Latin America. On December 2012, she was honoured by President Juan Manuel Santos as one of 100 distinguished Colombians living abroad.
Wolfgang C. Goede holds a master’s degree in political and communication science (LMU Munich: 1984) and a specialization in science journalism. He has served as an editor for Germany’s leading popular science magazine P.M. for 28 years. The resident of Munich is a board member of the German Association of Science Writers TELI and co-initiator of its Science Debate (wissenschaftsdebatte.de), co-founder of the World Federation of Science Journalists WFSJ and a member of the International Science Writers Association ISWA. Since 2012 Wolfgang has been the Honorary Secretary of the European Science Journalists EUSJA. He served as a member of the British Council’s Science Think Tank and has been the speaker and co-organizer of numerous journalistic workshops (ESOF, PCST, WCSJ). His engagement revolves around the state of the art of science journalism, its ethics and history, democratic claims and reality.