2019 European Immunization Training Workshop in Geneva

Brocher Foundation, the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of new medical developpements


On 14-15-16 October 2019, the World Federation of Science Journalists had a 2.5 day European Immunization Training Workshop at the Brocher Foundation site in Geneva, Switzerland.


Objectives and Themes


The objective of the training workshop was to provide factual information on the state of immunization and to increase journalism skills for accurate immunization science coverage in Europe. The training covered many vaccination-related topics relevant to the European context such as basic vaccination science, the economy of vaccination, the science behind immunization strategies, vaccine hesitancy and social media polarization.


Workshop directors


The programming of the workshop was designed and led by Daniela Ovadia and Alexandra Borissova.

Daniela Ovadia is an Italian science journalist, neuroscientist and neuroethicist and the Co-director of the Neuroscience and Society Lab at the University of Pavia. She has a background in medicine and neuroscience (Università Statale, Milan, Italy) and neuroethics (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, US). She is the Director of the Center for Ethics in Science and Journalism (CESJ) and the Scientific Director of Agenzia Zoe (science writing agency).


Alexandra Borissova has a background in physical chemistry. She is currently the president of the Russian Association for Science Communication (AKSON) and a senior lecturer at the Center for Science Communication at the ITMO University, St. Petersburg. As a science reporter and editor, she collaborated with the leading Russian news outlets (TASS, Gazeta.Ru, RBC). As a science communicator, she was the first head of communication office at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and held workshops on corporate science communication all across Russia. She is a former German Chancellor Fellow, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.



Special Guest Speakers


  • Fabiana Zollo (Ca’ Foscari University, International Center for the Humanities and Social Change) on the use of social media and polarization.
  • Emilie Karafillakis (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) on the role of culture and values in the anti-vax movement.
  • WHO experts, Martin Howell Friede and Raymond Hutubessy, on the economy of vaccination, the future of the immunization, research and new vaccines.