5th Kavli Symposium on Science Journalism

The 5th Kavli Symposium will address Science Journalism and Politics. It will explore the intricate relationships between science journalism and government decision-making – ranging from health and environmental issues to investment in basic science. It will examine if and how science journalism serves to inform decision-making processes and public opinion and whether it can more effectively be a check on how these policies are formulated. We will also focus on the relationship between science news and politics, with special attention to the connections between the science desk and the political desk in the newsroom.

This is a nonpartisan and non-political event and all sessions will be designed with the view of stimulating thinking to deliver cutting-edge ideas for the benefit of the field as a whole.

The Symposium’s steering committee:

  • Deborah Blum, Director Knight Science Journalism program, MIT
  • Mariette DiChristina, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific American
  • Robert Lee Hotz, Science Writer, Wall Street Journal
  • Laura Helmuth, Health, Science and Environment Editor, The Washington Post
  • Ivan Oransky, Vice President, Editorial at Medscape, Distinguished Writer In Residence, New York University’s Arthur Carter Journalism Institute
  • Tiffany Lohwater, Chief Communications Officer, AAAS
  • Richard Stone, Senior Science Editor, Tangled Bank Studios
  • Curtis Brainard,  Managing Editor, Scientific American
  • Milica Momcilovic, Science Journalist and Anchor, Radio Television of Serbia
  • Shereen Joseph, Program Director, WFSJ

It is our hope that this Symposium will provide key insights to better the overall practice of science journalism.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

The Louise Behan Reporting Grant in support of science journalism in lower-income countries

The World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) is pleased to announce the Louise Behan Reporting Grants to support science journalism.

Grants objective

The Louise Behan Reporting Grants is to support science journalists in lower-income countries [as defined by the World Bank] [2] report on stories of importance to that country or region.

Because of its experience in the training of journalists and to maximize their impact, WFSJ will make sure that the grants are used in synergy with its regular activities, such as its training programs and the World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ).

Grant history

Louise Behan graduated from Ottawa’s Carleton University School of Journalism in 1978. She worked for Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) for 13 years. Her employer also has a long history of supporting science journalism in the developing world and has been a key donor to the WFSJ, such as for its SjCOOP flagship project and the 4th World Conference of Science Journalists in Montreal.

The Grant

With the goal of maximizing the number of recipients and make the best use of the available funds. WFSJ has often seen how a relatively small amount between 300$ and 800$ CAN a year, i.e. travel funds to a specific region of one’s own country, can help produce award-winning reporting.

For practical reasons, the grants might be divided into two payments, depending on the scope and nature of the reporting project, with an amount made available upon acceptance of the project with the remainder attributed after the publication of the reporting piece.


Reporting grants will exclusively be awarded to the journalists that have already been selected to participate in a WFSJ activity or as a recipient of a scholarship to attend a forthcoming World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ). The Louise Behan Reporting Grants will, therefore help journalists already involved in a WFSJ training activity to produce more stories meeting the criteria of good science journalism, by putting into practice training’s learning.

The WFSJ regularly implements training workshops and activities. Participants in these activities will be invited to apply for this grant. The Federation will prioritize reporting projects that promise the most synergy with the training programs.

Eligible reporting projects must meet basic criteria of science journalism. They must include a scientific perspective on an issue and include interviews of researchers or scientists.

How to apply 

If invited to apply, an online form will be made available to selected candidates.

Upon story completion, the winners agree to see their work posted on the World Federation of Science Journalists’ website and/or highlighted at the World Conference of Science Journalists.

The winners also agree to respond to questions on the impact and benefits the Louise Behan Reporting Grant has on their profession as a science journalist. The outcome will be posted as an article on the WFSJ blog that includes a photograph of the winner and will be shared across the WFSJ’s social media channels.

Grant partners

The grants are organized in partnership with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and managed by the WFSJ thanks to a generous donation from Louise Behan in support of science journalism.

[1] The grants are eligible to journalists from lower-income countries in three categories and as listed by the World Bank: low-income economies, lower-middle-income economies, and higher-middle-income economies. [World Bank database consulted August 2018]

[2] Ibid