11th WCSJ2019 kicks off in Lausanne addressing state of science journalism

Mohammed El-Said
2 Min Read

Lausanne – The 11th World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ2019) kicked off on Monday in the city of Lausanne, Switzerland. 

About 1,200 researchers, business leaders, policymakers, science communicators, and journalists from more all over the world attended the opening of the five-day forum which is hosted by the L’Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) at its SwissTech Convention Centre. 

Olivier Dessibourg, head of the organising team and president of the Swiss Association of Science Journalists, said that the conference was set up by the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) aiming to gather science journalists to discuss the state of their profession, share best practices, and outline new goals to aspire to. 

The WCSJ 2019 has five main tracks. The first theme is about science and the latest developments in a range of fields. The second theme is about the way science is done, its relation to society, and the role of science journalists. 

The themes also include discussions on the new ways to make a living from science journalism, women science journalists unite, and challenges and opportunities for freelancers. It will also address skills and tools for science journalism, as well as talking about the lighter side of science and journalism. 

The WCSJ2019 is held every two years in a different country in each round and aims to enable science journalists from different continents to meet and start working together more efficiently. 

During his speech at the opening ceremony of the conference, President of the WFSJ, Mohammed Yahia, said that the federation has 61 member associations in 50 countries, representing more than 10,000 science journalists.

Calling for reaching out more countries that are still not in the federation, Yahia added that, “there are close to 200 countries at the UN. 150 more to go!”

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Mohammed El-Said is the Science Editor for the Daily News Egypt with over 8 years of experience as a journalist. His work appeared in the Science Magazine, Nature Middle East, Scientific American Arabic Edition, SciDev and other regional and international media outlets. El-Said graduated with a bachelor's degree and MSc in Human Geography, and he is a PhD candidate in Human Geography at Cairo University. He also had a diploma in media translation from the American University in Cairo.