BOARD AND GOVERNANCE
The World Federation of Science Journalists answers to the Annual General Assembly of its Full Member associations, with each association carrying one vote.
ALL BIOGRAPHIES OF THE PRESENT BOARD MEMBERS
Mohammed YAHIA – President
Egypt – Executive Editor of Nature Publishing Group (NPG) in the Middle East
Mohammed Yahia has been a science journalist for more than 10 years. For the past seven years, he has been working with Nature Research – Middle East, part of Springer Nature, where he launched the Nature Middle East regional portal focusing on science and science-related news from the Arab world. He now works with the editorial teams of all Springer Nature publications in the Middle East and Africa, including Nature Arabic Edition and For Science, the Arabic version of Scientific American.
Mohammed was one of the founders of the Arab Science Journalists Association (ASJA) and has worked closely with the association to promote science journalism in the region. He is currently the vice-president of the ASJA.
Since the start of his career in science journalism, he has been closely involved in the activities of the WFSJ. He was one of the organizers of the WCSJ2011 in Doha, Qatar. He put together the conference’s website and also managed the team doing the news coverage during the event. He was also closely involved with SjCOOP and held several training sessions during those meetings.
Mr. Yahia is very committed to the message of the WFSJ and will be fully committed to working with his fellow board members to promote the efforts of the federation. He believes that this is a time of change for science journalism in general and that the WFSJ needs to evolve to continue supplying the different needs of science journalists around the world.
Milica MOMCILOVIC – Vice-president
Balkan Region – Journalist, editor, TV author and Anchor
Ms. Momčilović has been a science journalist since 2006. She is currently a journalist, editor and tv anchor for Science and Education program on Radio Television of Serbia (RTS), a public broadcasting service with the widest audience reach in the country, and covers life sciences, medicine, health, climate change, etc.
Milica is a board member of the Balkan Network of Science Journalists, a regional network of professionals from Balkan countries. She is also the founder and a board member of SFERA, a nongovernmental organization devoted to the public promotion of science.
Ms. Momčilović is also a science correspondent at POLITIKA, the oldest and the most influential daily newspaper in Serbia and the Balkan, for which she writes on science, medicine, and health.
Since 2016, Milica is the editor and anchor of “The New Technologies in Education” program, organized in partnership with the British Council in Serbia that aims to raise awareness on the significance of using new technologies in education to help modernize the teaching and learning process. Before that, she was the editor of Cafe Scientific, a TV-forum to debate science issues, and of FameLab the world’s leading science communication competition.
Next to that, she has interviewed various national and international scientists, science communicators and activists, such as Richard R. Ernst, Prof. Venki Ramakrishnan, John Ellis, etc.
Through her coverage of international science (journalists) events like ESOF2014 in Copenhagen, WCSJ2015 in Seoul, WSF2015 in Budapest, ECCO2015 in Vienna, ESOF2016 in Manchester and ECSJ2017 in Copenhagen and WCSJ2017 in San Francisco, Ms. Momčilović has obtained a rich experience and strong knowledge on scientific issues and challenges regionally and internationally.
Tim LOUGHEED – Treasurer
Canada – Freelance journalist
Mr. Lougheed is a full-time freelance writer and editor, focusing primarily on science, technology, medicine, and education.
He has published hundreds of articles appearing in specialized and general publications, in Canada as well as internationally. Among the regular outlets where his work appears, he is also currently the editor of Canadian Chemical News, a magazine published by the Chemical Institute of Canada.
Tim has also been a member of the Science Writers & Communicators of Canada (SWCC) member for more than 25 years. It has given him a first-hand perspective to see both this profession and the SWCC evolve significantly with technology. Consequently, it has also transformed the economic model for everyone involved in science communications.
As a longstanding member, Tim has ascended all the way to the presidency of SWCC he has seen many different changes happening, and what continues to impress him is the steady progress that has been achieved in recent years. The progress made has pushed him to return to the front lines as president for a third term, to ensure that such progress continues.
Mandi SMALLHORNE – Secretary
South Africa – Freelance science journalist
Mandi Smallhorne has been a freelance journalist in South Africa for over 20 years, with a focus on health, social issues (human and gender rights), the environment and climate change, the food system and agriculture. She is also the presenter of workshops on science journalism, health journalism, and reporting on biodiversity.
As a freelance journalist, Mandi has written for a range of outlets such as earthworks magazine and the Mail & Guardian newspaper. She is the editor of PhysioSA, the official magazine of the SA Society of Physiotherapy (SASP), and a weekly columnist for Fin24.
Mandi has worked on training projects with the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement. She was also involved in research and reporting for major projects, such as a book on the Fostering Local Wellbeing project in South Africa (www.flowafrica.org), and a large funding proposal by Mozambique to the World Bank. She has written three young adult educational books on health, extreme weather, and alternative energy.
Born and raised in South Africa, she lives in Johannesburg with her husband, four dogs and a cat, and writes (unpublished) apocalyptic fiction in her spare time.
Wolfgang GOEDE – Member-at-large
Germany/Colombia – Freelance International Science Journalist
Wolfgang Goede is a senior science journalist from Germany with more than 30 years of experience as an editor for the leading popular science magazine P.M., as well as with international editions and outlets. He has written about a wide array of scientific topics.
Mr. Goede contributed to campaigns for the dissemination of science and technology, not only for his publisher Gruner+Jahr/Bertelsmann, but also as a member of the British Council Think Tank (2002-2006).
Wolfgang is a co-founder of the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) and has attended all the World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ) as a speaker, an organizer or as a session contributor. At the WCSJ2017 in San Francisco, he moderated the panel on ‘A Delicate Balance: Immunity in Health, Disease and Medicine.’ And at the WCSJ2013 in Helsinki he organized a comprehensive job training for science journalists.
Mr. Goede is also a long-time board member of the German Association of Science Writers (TELI) and a member of the International Science Writers Association (ISWA). He was TELI’s delegate to the European Union of Science Journalists’ Association (EUSJA) before being elected EUSJA’s Honorary Secretary (2012). At ESOF2014 in Copenhagen, he organized a science debate on nanotechnology, which resulted in the Copenhagen Declaration that had an impact on EU policy.
Mr. Goede believes that the times to report on science & technology have never been better. However, he also observes increasing deficits such as deteriorating employment possibilities for science journalists, the critical loss of quality in reporting, alien interests that are driven by commerce and economy, devaluate science, journalism and the will of the public.
Federico KUKSO – Member-at-large
Argentina – Independent Science Journalist
Federico Kukso is an independent Argentinian science journalist with more than 18 years of experience writing about science, culture, and technology. He currently writes for La Nación newspaper (Argentina), Agencia Sinc (Spain), Tec Review (México) and Le Monde Diplomatique.
In the past, Federico oversaw the science section of several Argentinian newspapers, and also produced science TV shows for Discovery Channel, Tecnópolis TV and NatGeo Latin America. Federico is the author of two books: “All You Need to Know about Science” and “The Bathrooms Weren’t Always Like This”. Currently, he is working on a book about the cultural history of smells.
In 2015, he was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. The fellowship allowed him to specialize in the History of science and STS (Science and Technology Studies) at MIT and Harvard University.
In 2017, he was selected by the Konex Foundation as one of the best 100 journalists in Argentina of the past decade. At WCSJ2017 he was a session speaker at two sessions and an organizer of the session on ‘Land of The Giants: South American Dinosaurs and Antarctic Secrets.’
Mr. Kukso is a member of the Argentinian Network of Science Journalism (RADPC) and was recently elected WFSJ Executive Board member. In 2014, he was the winner of a Kavli Prize Scholarship.
Ochieng OGODO – Member-at-large
Kenya – Journalist
Mr. Ogodo is currently the Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Coordinator and Editor for UK-based SciDev.Net. He is responsible for all editorial services, ensuring the delivery of news items relevant to Sub-Saharan Africa on the SciDev.Net website.
Mr. Ogodo started out in journalism in 1996 at The East African Standard, one of the two leading media outlets in Kenya and with a large readership in East Africa as well. At The Standard, he worked at the News Desk, which involved reporting on various items including breaking news stories based on assignments and his own initiatives.
Thereafter, he moved to the Investigative Desk as one of the few writers for the then widely read investigative pullout, The Big Issue. He covered politics and wrote on human interest issues, personality profiles, entertainment, transport, science and maritime matters, among others. Mr. Ogodo also wrote commentaries and analysis on major issues.
Mr. Ogodo has attended and covered many events in different parts of the world, such as the West Africa Science Journalists Conference (WASJC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the Uppsala Health Summit, which have allowed him to gain a thorough understanding on many issues in science journalism. They have equipped him with a valuable skillset.
He has been a frequent speaker at various sessions at the World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ). Next to that, Mr. Ogodo is a participant and trainer in workshops and meetings on subjects ranging from ‘Strengthening health systems in Africa’ to ‘Reporting on GM Crops in Africa and Asia.’
His milestones include winning the 2008 Reuters/IUCN Media Award for Excellence in Environmental Reporting for English-Speaking Africa and the Middle East. In 2007, he was the founding chairperson of the Kenya Environment and Science Journalists Association (KENSJA).
Mr. Ogodo is also the founding chairperson of the East African Network of Science Journalists (EANSJ) and a member of the Geneva-based Media21 Global Journalism Network.
Bouchra OUATIK – Member-at-large
Canada – Journalist
Ms. Ouatik has been a journalist for seven years. Currently, she is a journalist for the science television program Découverte with the French-language public broadcaster Radio-Canada. Until now, she has mainly focused on science journalism contributing to television and radio programs, as well as writing for magazines. As a journalist, Ms. Ouatik has a strong interest in covering social issues from a scientific perspective.
Bouchra Ouatik has been a recipient of several journalism awards and bursaries, including one from the Public Media Alliance, the largest global association of public broadcasters. In 2017, she was a member of the Quebec delegation to the Assises internationales du journalisme in Tours, France. She is also an active member of the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec (FPJQ).
Among her interests for the future of science journalism, she advocates for more scientific literacy for journalists in all fields, as a well as for a greater separation between science journalism and scientific institutions.
Ms. Ouatik is a member of the WFSJ since 2017.
Connie ST LOUIS – Member-at-large
Connie St Louis is a science journalist and has been a board member since 2015. She is an award-winning freelance broadcaster, journalist, writer, and scientist. Connie participated in several of our World Conferences as a panelist and session organizer. She currently is involved in communications consulting.
Curtis BRAINARD – Ex-officio Director
United States – Digital Content Manager at Scientific American
Curtis Brainard manages the editorial team at Scientific American, where he previously served as blogs editor. He covered science, environment and medical news as a staff writer for Columbia Journalism Review from 2006 until 2013.
His freelance writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Popular Science and OnEarth. Brainard speaks frequently at conferences and events worldwide, and on television and radio, about science journalism.
Curtis is a member of the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) and the Society of Environmental Journalists in the U.S. and holds master’s degrees in environmental science and journalism from Columbia University in New York City, home of the Pulitzer Prizes.
Brainard joined the WFSJ board in 2013, serving as Secretary in his first two-year term and President in his second term. He is now serving a third term in the ex-officio role of Past President.