REASONS WHY I AM APPLYING
In 2015, I had the luck to win one of the most prestigious fellowships in science journalism, the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at MIT. Suddenly, after years of writing about science, technology, and culture in a distant city as Buenos Aires, Argentina, I was there: at MIT and Harvard. But to be honest, that was not what dazzled me: what excited me was to have the opportunity to spend almost a year in the company of colleagues from all over the world. To be able to share classes, ideas, experiences with people from different countries and cultures and with an uncontrollable desire to tell science stories. Being able to know the men and women behind the profession. As in many World Conferences of Science Journalists I attended before, I was able to appreciate one of the best aspects of humanity: diversity.
In these stormy times of fake news, climate change deniers and of Anti-Vaccination movements, science journalism is more important than ever. We need critical thinking and to look beyond hypotheses, wonders and data, maintaining our skepticism, committed to accuracy and always seeking the truth.
But science journalism is sterile without diversity. It is important not only to diversify the sources of information but also to diversify the voices. To show that, even though the internet and other technologies have made the world a smaller place, our planet is still huge and unknown.
With their own cultural views, regions like Latin America, Asia or Scandinavia have a lot to offer to the science journalism community: different points of view on issues such as artificial intelligence, the ethical implications of genetic engineering, climate adaptation, outbreaks of diseases, epidemics and pandemics such as Ebola and Zika.
In an increasingly diverse and globalized world, we should discuss and engage in international collaboration efforts to improve the quality of science journalism in a global scale, to tell better and global science stories and to fortify ties among our multicultural communities.
That´s what I being trying to do in the last years. In my case, it’s to build bridges between science journalists from Latin America and Spanish-speaking countries with the world. For example, I organized a session in the 4th European Conference for Science Journalists in Copenhagen about bilingual science journalism. And I will be one of the panelists in the WCSJ in San Francisco 2017.
I have also participated as speaker in many science journalism conferences (Doha, Helsinki, Seoul) and workshops in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and in the rest of Latin America.
During the past ten years, I have seen how science journalism has increasingly professionalized in this region of the world. Many associations of science writers from countries like Argentina or Chile have slowly shaped a regional identity. The most recent example is the newborn Mexican Network of Science Journalists. But even as the average level of science reporting in Latin Amerca is improving, much remains to be done.
Diversity is our greatest strength and as a global community of science journalists we should embrace it and boost it.
Federico Kukso – Member of RADPC (Argentinian Network of Science Journalists)
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