Dr. David Stukus: “I think we need to start educating school children on how to spot “Fake News” and think independently”

Nationwide Children’s Hospital was founded in 1892, today it’s one of the largest children’s hospital in the USA. Only in 2017 Nationwide Children’s Hospital had more than 1.4 million patient visits from all around the USA and the world. 1  Dr. David Stukus is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Section of Allergy/Immunology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Director of the Hospital’s Complex Asthma Clinic, his focus is on asthma and food allergies.2  He was more than willing to answer a few questions, but if you want to stay updated…you better go and follow him at @AllergyKidsDoc

I would like to start the interview with an important question for the Balkan region regarding the anti-vaccination movement.  In 2018 the WFSJ published the article “ When the media gets science wrong: the deadly measles epidemic in Serbia“, so in your opinion how much the anti-vaccination movement is dangerous in a long term period?

Dr. David Stukus: This is a great place to start! Any movement that is based on pseudoscience and fear mongering is dangerous to society. The false beliefs and misconceptions perpetutated throughout the anti-vaccine movement have sowed doubt into the minds of well intentioned and concerned parents across the world. We are seeing a resurgence of vaccine preventable diseases such as measles after achieving complete eradication in some countries. Vaccine hesitancy was named a Top 10 Global Health Threat by the World Health Organization for 2019 – if that doesn’t demonstrate how dangerous this is, I don’t know what does.

Every day we can read about detoxification and how to clean our body from heavy metals, but what do you think about detoxification for kids? Do kids really need detoxification and body cleanse?

Dr.David Stukus: I’ll reply for both children and adults: No one needs detoxification or cleanses! Our bodies are extremely effective at removing harmful substances and rely on our kidneys, liver, and lungs for that exact purpose. This is another area filled with misinformation and fear mongering, all in the name of profit and empty promises. Harm occurs from people spending their hard earned money on unnecessary treatment programs, or worse, avoiding proven medical treatments for their underlying conditions in lieu of these unproven and unnecessary options. It’s ironic that the extreme versions of these detoxes and cleanses can actually create unnatural imbalances inside the body and deficiencies in necessary vitamins and minerals.

What do you think about the state of science and health journalism in the US, what would you like to be changed?

Dr. David Stukus: Like most things, there are really great examples and really bad examples. It all depends on what outlets you use. I would like to see stories on science and health reported by journalists who have received training and have an understanding of the nuances involved in research studies. Too many headlines are formatted to generate clicks and shares and miss the mark on what a study actually demonstrated. There is also a major imbalance in favour of the eye catching rare stories that generate interest but then falsely represent an issue. For instance, to achieve true journalistic balance, for every story about a person who experienced a rare complication from receiving a vaccine, there should be a million other stories that report on the safety and efficacy of vaccines. THAT is an accurate representation.

I like the way you are using Twitter, it’s very educational and interesting. A few months ago you wrote:  “Making decisions about your health or wellness based upon information from unqualified individuals – especially those who are also trying to sell you products or services. That’s called advertising.” We can see so many advertisements and advices like “Take Zinc every day, you need to take higher doses of vitamin C for your immunity…” , people can get scared sometimes and they would buy whatever it takes for their health, so how do we find balance and do we really need to take daily doses of supplements?

Dr. David Stukus: I think we need to start educating school children on how to spot “Fake News” and think independently. Science literacy is declining and too many people mistake the information they receive on social media, through online articles, or from celebrities as credible. Medical experts and scientists are no longer seen as the experts – partly due to our collective inability to communicate in a manner that is received and understood by others. It’s much more powerful to hear an emotional testimonial from someone who looks like you than a stuffy educated doctor or scientist that very few people relate towards.

People also fail to recognize the difference between an advertisement and an unbiased evidence-based recommendation. A simple thing every single person can start doing immediately to help with this is to ask themselves one question: Is the source of information I just received also trying to sell me something (products, books, services, etc)? If yes – that is a conflict of interest and that information is biased. This happens all the time with supplements, vitamins, homeopathic remedies, etc. There are a few medical conditions that would benefit from treatment with the right supplement but unless someone has been evaluated by a qualified medical professional and been diagnosed with one of those conditions, there is no medical indication to use supplements. People should focus on eating an overall healthy diet and receive their nutrition from actual food instead of pills.

We can see articles about how honey can treat allergies,  the truth is?

Dr. David Stukus: Not at all. Honey is made by bees who collect pollen from non-wind borne plants such as flowers. The pollen that causes allergy symptoms comes from wind borne plants such as tress, grass, and weeds. Not only does honey not contain the same pollen that causes allergy symptoms, but if it did, then people with pollen allergies would be having reactions from eating a big mouthful of exactly what they are allergic to!

What do you like the most about your job and what is not such a good side? We can see different movements, parents who are raising vegetarian kids and there are so many conspiracy theories, does this makes your job more challenging? Do kids need to be vegetarians?

Dr. David Stukus: I love forming long lasting connections with children and their families. They trust me with personal information and their deepest concerns. I can use my education, training, and 10+ years of clinical experience to listen to their concerns and offer suggestions as to what may be causing their symptoms, as well as some ideas on how to make them feel better. I have learned so much from the conversations that I have on social media and observing the conspiracy theorists and their falsely held beliefs. I know that most of my patients are also using social media to find information pertaining to their health. I also know that at times they may post my own recommendations from the appointment they had with me to see if their social networks agree or not. As challenging as that may be, and disruptive to our personal relationship, I acknowledge that is how our world operates and I openly discuss that aspect with families. I anticipate they will go online and tell them that not all information is credible or useful. I always offer to serve as a trusted source of evidence based information should they have questions.

What are the top five biggest myths (in your opinion) and can you tell us what is the truth?

Dr.David Stukus: Myth: Doctors make a ton of money from pushing vaccines or drugs. Truth: Not at all. Trust me, we’d make MUCH more money if we skipped proven medical treatment and instead allowed our patients to have bad outcomes and require treatment in the emergency department or hospital.

Myth: I have a hypoallergenic pet. Truth: “Hypoallergenic” dogs and cats do not exist. All of them release dander, which is what causes allergy symptoms, from their saliva, skin cells, and urine. Some breeds may cause more symptoms in some individuals compared with others, but this can only be determined through repeated direct exposure.

Myth: I’m allergic to penicillin. Truth: 10 % of people report having penicillin allergy but 95 % of those people are not actually allergic. Side effects, family history, and misunderstanding of what constitutes an allergic reaction are often misconstrued when the term ‘allergy’ is applied.

Myth: The flu shot gives you the flu. Truth: Influenza vaccines administered by injection contain small pieces of the influenza virus to help build immunity. There is no active virus and it is impossible for it to cause active influenza infection.

Myth: I read it online, it must be true. Truth: Not at all. There is zero regulation of any medical content online. It is important to learn how to navigate online resources when searching for health information.

What is the best advice you can give to parents?

Dr.David Stukus: Your child’s personal doctor is the best source of information pertaining to their care. If you have questions or concerns about their health, please ask their doctor. There are so many nuances and individual differences that make it impossible to take information from other people’s anecdotes or online sources to know whether any of it applies to each individual child. Your child’s doctor honestly cares about your family and wants you to have the best information to make decisions and ultimately for your child to have the best outcomes. The years of training and clinical experience that your child’s doctor can offer simply cannot be replaced by advice from well intentioned friends, family members, or social media contacts, ESPECIALLY if they themselves are not a qualified medical provider.

Source1 and 2: www.nationwidechildrens.org

About the author:  Maria Bolevich is a 29-year-old graduate of the Medical High School and of the Faculty of Metallurgy and Technology, Department of Environmental protection at the University of Montenegro. She wrote her first scientific article in 2009 which triggered her passion for science journalism.  She works as a freelance science and environmental journalist and she is based in Croatia.

Science Talks on What Journalists Need to Know About Healthy Aging

Media interested in learning more about healthy aging to inform their reporting should attend this webinar. Participants will walk away with a deeper understanding of:

  • What are the dynamics of the aging process and why we are living longer?
  • What do geriatricians mean by “healthy aging”?
  • How does prevention reduce the risk of serious medical issues?
  • What are some of the most common medical issues associated with aging and increased longevity?
  • How much physical activity do people over age 50 need?
  • How important is diet in the health of older individuals? What other lifestyle issues are important in healthy aging?

For more information click here

York University’s Faculty of Science: call for the next Science Communicator in Residence

The next Science Communicator in Residence at York University’s Faculty of Science is now open for applications if you or anyone you know might be interested. It’s for the 2019-2020 academic year and could be four weeks to four months in length. Canadian and international science journalists in all media, whether currently working full-time or freelance, are eligible to apply. The deadline to apply is April 23, 2019. For more information click here.

 

 

Opportunity: 10-Month Climate Journalism Mentorship

Climate Tracker has developed with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation a climate journalism mentorship opportunity.

What is the mentorship? What do mentees get?

Five aspiring and emerging climate journalists will be selected from different regions to participate in a 10-month online mentorship on climate solutions and journalism with Climate Tracker. The fellows will receive guidance and training from them, they will write for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation One Earth website, and receive a monthly stipend of USD150. One of the five fellows will be funded to attend an international climate change conference.

Eligibility

Those who are from or are living in the following regions are eligible:

  • Africa
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Europe
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • South Asia

They accept applicants that are between 18 and 30 years old, but you are encouraged to apply anyway if you do not fulfil this requirement! This is an exciting opportunity for both newer and more experienced writers. They are looking for people who are deeply committed to writing about climate change and the environment, are skilled and creative journalists who are willing to experiment with new multimedia, and are self-motivated and reliable.

How to Apply

  1. Write an article about local solutions and responses to climate change. How have individuals, communities, or governments harnessing the powers of technology, science, community activism, policy, or others to solve the climate crisis?
  2. Publish your article. You have to find a news site, blog, newspaper, magazine, etc. Willing to publish your article. It can be at a national, regional, local or international level. Aim for the one with best outreach across the region.

  3. Submit your article to their platform. After submitting, they will rate your articles, and select writers to interview. Writers will be informed by April of their status. Deadline Publish and submit your article by March 31, 2019.

Please click here to find out more and to apply.

If you have any additional questions, email Lily Jamaludin at lily@climatetracker.org

Kavli 5th Symposium: How taking a step back helps best practices

After being trained as a journalist in the very practical sense of the term, studying master’s degree in communication gave me very good surprises. For a start, I was not expecting to be so interested in taking a step back and look at practices. It seemed like entering in a real new world. During the conference in DC, I met very inspiring people. I saw participants who love their job so much that they are ready to think and discuss about their practices to make a difference. It motivates me to continue my research, feeling that later, people could use it to feed their thoughts. The conference helped me review my ideas on fact checking and trust which are at the very core of journalism. The place given to the readers and how to best serve them was also something I appreciated to hear. Regarding my other assignation as a coordinator of the Weight Expert project, I will report to my coworkers about the way science journalists do research online to fact-check and determine who to speak to about the subject they are writing on.

I felt privileged to be a part of that great team and to be able to contribute on a small scale to that great movement engaged to face changes. Finally, I want to thank the Fonds de recherche du Québec and the World Federation of Science Journalism for giving me this great opportunity that I hope will be given to me again in the future. For more information on the Kavli 5th Symposium click here.

— Aline Vancompernolle, student in communication (master) at Laval University

 

 

 

 

UKRI-2019 Science Reporting Workshop

From 10-15 March 2019, the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) together with United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) are organizing a workshop on science reporting for African journalists. During the training workshop, the participants will review the fundamentals of science reporting and sharpen their journalism skills using new technologies,research through site visits and interviews with world-renowned experts from the UK’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (in Harwell).  The workshop is a springboard for publishing science stories based on their exposure to top scientists and new ways of telling stories and we trust that they will share their experience with their colleagues back in their home countries. For more information click here

Registration open for World Conference of Science

Registration is open for the World Conference of Science Journalists in Lausanne, WCSJ 2019. The conference is expecting around 1000 participants. It is open not only to established science journalists, but also to students in journalism, especially science journalism, and to journalists of all disciplines for whom science is an increasingly important element of their reporting.

WCSJ2019 major sponsors:

The conference programme and a preliminary programme of field trips to scientific institutions in the region and further afield is available as of today: registration will be on a first-come-first-served basis. WCSJ2019 is organised by the Science journalists’ associations of Switzerland, France and Italy under the umbrella of the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ).

WCSJ2019 prestigious academic partners are:

WCSJ2019 programme will include:

  • 7 pre-events and workshops
  • 4 plenaries
  • 6 keynotes
  • 50 parallel sessions, featuring about 220 speakers from the science journalism, science communication, science and technology, and science policy worlds

WCSJ2019 science journalists invited to talk are:

  • Alison Abott (Editor at Nature).
  • Ben Deighton (Managing editor, SciDev.net)
  • Carl Zimmer (New York Times)
  • Ceclia Rosen (Freelance journalist, Mexico)
  • Christie Aschwanden (538),
  • Cynthia Graber (co-host, Gastropod podcast)
  • David Rotman (Editor at large, MIT Technology Review)
  • Deborah Blum (Director, MIT Knight Fellowship in Science Journalism and Pulitzer Prize winner)
  • Dominique Leglu (Director Sciences&Avenir and LaRecherche)
  • Elisabeth MacGowen (Inside Climate News, Pulitzer Prize winner)
  • Emily Wilson (Editor in chief, New Scientist)
  • Francesca Unsowrth (Head of news, BBC)
  • Harry Surjadi (Society of Indonesian Science Journalists)
  • Ivan Oransky (Founder, Retraction Watch)
  • Izumi Koyabashi (Manga artist)
  • Jeremy Merrill (ProPublica)
  • Jérôme Fenoglio (director, Le Monde)
  • Laura Helmuth (Washington Post)
  • Marc Walder (CEO, Ringier Group)
  • Martin Enserink (International news editor, Science)
  • Maryn McKenna (columnist, WIRED)
  • Mohammed Yahia (Editor, Nature Middle East and President, WFSJ)
  • Monika Bauerlein (CEO, Mother Jones)
  • Natasha Mitchell (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
  • Nathalie Wappler, (Director SRF, Swiss public broadcaster)
  • Nina Fasciaux (European ambassador, Solution Journalism Network)
  • Pallab Ghosh (BBC)
  • Peter Aldhous (BuzzFeed)
  • Prasad Ravindranath (science editor, The Hindu Times)
  • Sharon Begley (STAT News)
  • Stéphane Foucart (Le Monde)
  • Uzodinma Iweala (CEO, Ventures Africa magazine Nigeria, and CEO, The Africa Center)
  • Victoria Jaggard (National Geographic Magazine)

WCSJ2019 scientist and science policy makers include:

  • Andrea Ammon (Director, ECDC)
  • Audrey Azoulay (DG, UNESCO)
  • Bernhardt Url (Executive director, European Food Safety Agency)
  • Carlos Moedas (European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation)
  • Cedric Villani (Field Medalist, Member of the French Parliament)
  • Daniel Ropers (CEO, Springer Nature)
  • Earl Lane (Executive director, AAAS)
  • Fabiola Gianotti (DG, CERN)
  • Jean-Eric Paquet (DG for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation)
  • Jeffrey Bohn (Director, SwissRe Institute)
  • Kamila Markram (CEO, Frontiers)
  • Martin Vetterli (President, EPFL)
  • Miguel Castro (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
  • Naomi Oreskes (Professor of history of science, Harvard University)
  • Nigel Lockyer (Director, FermiLab)
  • Nouria Hernandez (Rector, University of Lausanne)
  • Richard Horton (Editor in chief, The Lancet)
  • Robert Watson (IPBES Chair)
  • Seema Kumar (VP Innovation, Global Health & Science Policy Communication, Johnson & Johnson)
  • Swiss Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga (Switzerland’s vice-president, head of the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications)

WCSJ2019 registration starts at:

Official press release (Washington DC, 16 February 2019)

WCSJ2019: Provisional Programme

FT: Field Trip  |  W: Workshop  |  P: Plenary session

K: Keynote session  |  L: Sponsored Luncheon  |  LL: Lunch@labs

June 26 to 30

  • FT1. White Nights, IT, photonic technologies and robotics in St. Petersburg
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Location: St. Petersburg, Russia

9:00-17:00 

  • W1.  Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop, Latin American Edition,
    • Type: Pre-conference event
    • (open to all WCSJ2019 participants. NB: will be held in spanish)
  • W2. Atelier Francophonie
    • Type: Pre-conference event
    • (ouvert à tous les participants WCSJ2019)
  • W3. The science of learning and science journalism
    • Type: Pre-conference event
    • (Morning: for travel grantees only; Afternoon: open to 40 additional WCSJ2019 participants)
  • W4. Balkan Science Journalism workshop
    • Type: Pre-conference event
    • (open to all)
  • W5. How can we reach the audiences of the future that we reach today with science programs?
    • Type: Pre-conference event
    • (organized by the European Boradcasting Union; open only 14:00-17:00 to all participants)
  • W6a. FUSE Workshops 1: Augmented Reality
    • Type: Pre-conference event
    • (registration basis; participants have to apply with a motivation letter, not all will be accepted; 25 slots only)

13:00-17:00

  • FT31. Innovaud – From the Lab to International Heights
    • Type: Field Trip, Location: STCC
    • (Conference Venue)

16:30-17:30

  • W7. SNSF roundtable: The battle for open access
    • Type: Pre-conference event
    • (organized by the Swiss National Science Foundation; open to all)

18:00

  • P1. Opening ceremony and plenary session, Panel with 5 Editors-in-chief and CEO of leading media, on the place of science (journalism) in mainstream media, including :
    • Jérôme Fenoglio, Director Le Monde
    • Monika Bauerlein, CEO MotherJones
    • Nathalie Wappler, incomming director SRF Swiss Broadcasting Television
    • Francesca Unsworth, head of news at the BBC
    • Uzodinma Iweala, CEO of Ventures Africa Magazine

20:00 — Opening/Welcome cocktail


21:00-00:00 — Social Hub @HEMU, in downtown Lausanne


8:45 – 9:45

  • P2. Plenary session: The Moon and beyond: Where will we be in 50 years in space exploration?

9:00 -17:00

  • W6b. FUSE Workshops 2: Artificial Intelligence
    • Type: Pre-conference event

9:45 -10:10 — Coffee Break


10:10-11:20 — Parallel sessions:

  • A1. Reporting on scientific fraud around the world: a how-to
  • A2. Philanthropy – a savior for journalism… or a dead end?
  • A3. Deep-sea mining: the next natural resources frontiers
  • A4. The reality of Augmented Reality: How it can enhance science storytelling
  • A5. EU agencies – can we trust the experts?

11:25-12:10

  • M1. Press conference: European Union

12:15-13:55

  • L1. Luncheon Johnson&Johnson: Subject to be announced
  • L2. Luncheon DigitalSwitzerland: Switzerland, world hub for blockchain technologies and the role of the blockchain in journalism
  • LL1 to LL52. Lunch@Labs

11:30-18:00    

  • FT11a. CERN: going underground, Type: Field Trip, Location: CERN, Geneva

14:00-15:10 — Parallel sessions:

  • B1. Trade Craft: Unpacking the Corporate Manipulation Toolbox
  • B2. We need to talk about CRISPR. («House of commons»-style debate)
  • B3. Women journalists unite! Fighting gender bias in newsrooms and reporting
  • B4. Covering meta-analysis and systematic reviews ­­– a crash course
  • B5. Writing and selling the 21st-century science book

15:10-15:40 — Coffee Break


15:40-16:50 — Parallel sessions:

  • C1. Nurturing emerging science journalists in the Global South
  • C2. Thinking outside of the press release: how to find story ideas in new, unusual and digital places
  • C3. New ways of doing journalism: innovative business models and how they work
  • C4. The Pitch-slam session
  • C5. Gene drives: what impacts on the biodiversity ?
  • C6. Fake-news in science: how to recognize and fight them
  • C7. Improvisation session 1

17:00-18:00 

  • K1. Keynote: Uzodinma Iweala (CEO Ventures Africa Magazine Nigeria, CEO The Africa Center)
  • K2. Keynote: Jean-Eric Paquet (DG Research&Innovation at the EU)

19:00-21:30 — Welcome reception at Olympic Museum, Lausanne  (sponsored by Johnson&Johnson) and exhibition of start-ups active in the sports domain (in collaboration with SPOT, event by ThinkSports)


21:00-23:30 — ScienceImages @Musée de l’Elysée, by CinéGlobe (Open air cinema with science movies and documentaries)


21:00-00:00 — Social Hub @HEMU in downtown Lausanne


8:45 – 9:45

  • P3. Plenary session: Solution science journalism with Nina Fasciaux and Elisabeth McGowen

9:45-10:10 — Coffee Break


10:10-11:20 — Parallel sessions:

  • D1. TBD
  • D2. Seeking elusive truths: How to judge statistical results as a non-statistician
  • D3. Mental illness, science, and the global health agenda
  • D4. Four investigative reporters and their stories
  • D5. Where physics (still) doesn’t work: the global quest to solve the universe’s enduring mysteries

11:25-12:10

  • M2. Press conference: IBM
  • M3. Press conference: Bertarelli Foundation (ocean sciences)

12:15-13:55

  • L4. Luncheon ObsEva: The social impact of neglecting women’s health
  • L5. Luncheon SwissReInstitute: From algorithmic risk to behavioral analytics – how research helps build a more resilient world
  • L6. Luncheon Sicpa: The New Deal in the Digital Age: how the economy of trust will create security in an uncertain world
  • LL1 to LL52. Lunch@labs

11:30-18:00 

  • FT11b. CERN: going underground, Type: Field Trip Location: CERN, Geneva

14:00-15:10 — Parallel sessions:

  • E1. Enemies of the people: journalism in the age of populists and strongmen
  • E2. Reporting on harassment in science; how to protect yourself and your sources
  • E3. Covering biodiversity
  • E4. Public information officers and journalists: can they get along and work together?
  • E5. So you want to make a podcast? Here’s where to start

15:10-15:40 — Coffee Break


15:40-16:50 — Parallel sessions:

  • F1. Know thy audience
  • F2. Artificial intelligence
  • F3. Let’s Manga! Science told through comics
  • F4. Trade Craft: Investigative Tools for Science Journalists
  • F5. Too close for comfort? Embedded science journalism in extreme environments
  • F6. Improvisation session 2
  • F7. Endocrine disruptors: a challenge for health

17:00-18:00

  • K3. Keynote: Which futur for science magazines in the new media landscape? With Emily Wilson and Dominique Leglu
  • K4. Keynote: To be announced

18:00-20:00 — Tech&Innovation Cocktail Offered by the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne EPFL, in honor of its 50’s birthday


20:00-22:00

  • X1. Evening session: Embedded science journalism in extreme environments
  • X2. Evening session: The listening lab: a science podcast soiree
  • X3. Evening session: Science writer for hire: an editor-freelancer meet-and-greet

21:00-00:00 — Social Hub @HEMU in downtown Lausanne


8:45 – 9:45

  • P4. Plenary session: Naomi Oreskes (Harvard University)

9:45-10:10 — Coffee Break


10:10-11:20 — Parallel sessions:

  • G1.  Struggle with politics: how to jump into the world of politics as scientist
  • G2.  In fighting climate change, adaptation gains respect
  • G3.  Freelancing from the Global South
  • G4.  Techno-hype? Evaluating fixes for big problems
  • G5.  Making data visible: enabling writers (and readers!) with effective infographics
  • G6.  Improvisation session 3

11:25-12:10

  • M4. Press conference: GLACE (Circumnavigation Greenland project)
  • M5. Press conference: Human Frontiers Science Program; Nakasone Award announcement

12:15-13:55

  • L7. Luncheon BNP-Paribas Foundation: Climate stories
  • L8. Luncheon Sabri Uelker foundation: Communicating about nutrition science: best practices and food for thought
  • LL1 to LL52 Lunch@labs

11:30-18:00

  • FT11c. CERN: going underground, Type: Field Trip Location: CERN, Geneva

14:00-15:10 — Parallel sessions:

  • H1. Preprint publishing: a new dawn of transparency or a long dark night of misinformation?
  • H2. Writing for religious audiences
  • H3. Data Security: How to protect yourself, your sources, and your stories
  • H4. The LGBTQ meetup
  • H5. An indigenous perspective on science
  • H6. SPECIAL SESSION: EU tools for science journalists

15:10-15:30 — Coffee Break


15:35-16:35 — Parallel sessions:

  • J1. Understanding Randomised Controlled Trials in Health and Policy Innovation
  • J2. Citizen sensors: How to track the quality of air, food, water, and medicine in your community
  • J3. The confession session!
  • J4. Improvisation session debrief

16:40-17:40

  • K5. Keynote: To be announced

17:40-18:00 — Closing address and closing ceremony


19:00-23:00 — Farewell evening in Lavaux


  • FT2. Meet the research center shaping the future society in the ancient city of Genova
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time:14:00 (4 july) to 18:00 (5 july)
    • Location: Genova, Italy

  • FT6. ITER: Here comes the (artificial) Sun!
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Date: 4 to 5 July
    • Time: 18:30 (4 July) to 18:00 (5 July)
    • Location: Cadarache, France

  • FT8. In the footsteps of space adventurers at the European Space Missions
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Date: 4 to 5 July
    • Location: Cologne, Germany

 

  • FT3. From “Dieselgate” to terrorist attacks: the lab tackling Europe’s policy challenges
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Date: 5 to 6 July
    • Location: Ispra, Italy

  • FT4. Where Science meets Art
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Date: 5 to 6 July
    • Location: Paris, France​

  • FT5. Icy memories and an ultra-intense X-ray source in the heart of the French Alps
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 7:00 to 20:30 (tbc)
    • Location: Grenoble, France​

  • FT7. Lyon – city of innovation and invention
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 8:00 to 20:00 (tbc)
    • Location: Lyon, France​

  • FT10. The lab and the vineyard: the past and future of Swiss wine making
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 10:00 to 14:30
    • Location: Agroscope Pully & Lavaux (Domaine Croix Duplex)

  • FT11d. CERN: going underground
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 11:30 to 16:45
    • Location: CERN, Geneva

  • FT12. To the edge of space onboard a solar-powered plane
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 8:00 to 16:30
    • Location: CSEM, SolarStratos, Neuchâtel

  • FT13. Finding Einstein in Bern – relatively speaking
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 8:00 to 17:30 (tbc)
    • Location: Bern

  • FT14. A journey into the heart of neurosciences. From fundamental research to effective applications
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 7:45 to 19:30
    • Location: Geneva

  • FT15. Exoplanets, black holes and gamma rays in the sky above Geneva
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 8:00 to 20:30
    • Location: Geneva

  • FT16. Happy Birthday WWW: BIG data, BIG opportunities and challenges
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 8:00 to 20:30
    • Location: CERN, Geneva

  • FT17. How radioisotopes travel from CERN to hospital patients
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 8:00 to 20:30
    • Location: CERN, Geneva

  • FT18. Tall and bold – a visit to the Grande Dixence, the highest gravity dam in the world
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 8:30 to 18:00
    • Location: Grande Dixence​

  • FT19. Predicting the Future by Inventing It: From AI to Quantum Bits at IBM Research
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 7:00 to 18:00
    • Location: IBM, Zürich

  • FT20. Jungfraujoch: Insights Out of Thin Air
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 7:00 to 20:00
    • Location: Jungfraujoch​

  • FT21. Zurich – From Einstein to the Digital Future
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 8:20 to 19:40
    • Location: Zurich

  • FT22. Life Science Cluster Basel: At the forefront of stem-cell, neuroscience, cancer and malaria research
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 7:30 to 17:00
    • Location: Basel

  • FT23. Time, Switzerland’s iconic resource
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 7:00 to 19:45
    • Location: Neuchâtel

  • FT24. The Swiss X-Ray free-electron laser SwissFEL: One of only five worldwide. Discover its power
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 9:00 to 19:15
    • Location: Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, Villigen

  • FT25. Lausanne, city of water
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 9:00 to 12:30
    • Location: Lausanne

  • FT27. Geneva’s pivotal role in the response to viral disease outbreaks
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Time: 8:00 to 20:30
    • Location: Geneva

  • FT28. Energy autark extreme-altitude architecture with a view of the Matterhorn and the stars
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Date: 5 to 7 July
    • Time: 8:00 (5 July) to 18:00 (7 July)
    • Location: Zermatt

17:30-19:00

  • Geneva Cocktail at Campus Biotech

(for all WCSJ2019 participants, especially for Geneva, Grenoble and Lyon FT participants, as well as all participants leaving Geneva by plane on July 6 and planning to spend the night in Geneva)


  • FT9.  SESAME: A light source for the Middle East
    • Type: Field Trip
    • Date: 6 to 11 July
    • Location: Allan, Jordan

  • FT33. A museum that will leave you in stitches
    • Type: Touristic Trip
    • Time: 9:00 to 12:30
    • Location: Chaplin’s World

  • FT34. Byron was here
    • Type: Touristic Trip
    • Time: 9:00 to 12:30
    • Location: Château de Chillon

  • FT35. Steep learning curve – a walking tour of Lausanne
    • Type: Touristic Trip
    • Time: 9:00 to 12:00
    • Location: Lausanne

  • FT36. Where Gruyère cheese comes from
    • Type: Touristic Trip
    • Time: 9:00 to 16:00
    • Location: Gruyère

  • FT37. Suspended between two peaks
    • Type: Touristic Trip
    • Time: 9:00 to 17:00
    • Location: Glacier 3000

WCSJ2019 official provisional programme


INTERVIEW: “It’s time a science journalism conference came to Africa”

By Adam Alqali

Christophe Bourillon, was at the South Africa Science Forum 2018 in Pretoria, he is the executive director of the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) and his goal is to focus on promoting science journalism; including the role of science journalists as key development players in civil society and democracy worldwide.

 

African Newspage (AN): You have been the WFSJ’s executive director for some months now. How has the journey been so far?

It has been fantastic; there is a lot of challenges, however. I like the science journalism community, it is diverse, and full of interesting individuals. Science journalists can tell great stories, they are very good at reporting what other people do, but they are not good at telling the world about the importance of their job. So, this is the main goal of the Federation: to raise the profile of science journalists across the world.

For instance, science journalists are doing a very important job in developing economies where policymakers need to make important choices and the choices they make now will have an impact in the future. As a result, they need to make the best decisions and a lot of the decisions are science-based. Therefore, science journalists play a very important role in providing credible information and reporting the facts so that decision makers can make informed decisions.

As an international organization that was set up in 2002, the Federation is fairly new. Up until now, what we have been doing is mainly targeted at the science journalism community: organizing training workshops and producing toolkits to help science journalists to grow and develop their skills. Now, we are going to do more outreach – engage with the public as well as policy makers – to inform them about the role of science journalists in society. There is a lot of science articles being written but there is less science journalists in the world. Our job, therefore, is to help create the enabling economic conditions for science journalists to flourish and develop, as well as get more job opportunities for them.

AN: Science journalism acts as the bridge between science and the public as well as between science and policymaking; how important is the role of science journalism in advancing Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) in Africa?

Africa is very important for us. When I came to this position a few months ago, the first thing I did was to talk to as many members around the world as possible. I spoke to several member associations from Africa including Ghana, Egypt, and Kenya. I met many science journalists and I was amazed at how vibrant, enthusiastic and dynamic the African science journalists community had been. In addition, I found that a lot of science journalists in Africa were working in fairly difficult conditions and they manage to produce high quality science stories. So, they’re doing a great job and since then I felt I needed to visit Africa as soon as possible to meet science journalists.

Every two years, we organize the World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ), in 2019 it is going to be in Lausanne, Switzerland and two years ago it was in San Francisco, USA. I feel it is time for the conference to come to Africa. I don’t have a say, as to where the conference will be the next time, but this is one of the things the Federation must do – ensure the conference comes to Africa one day.

We are a Federation of 59 member associations and through the member associations, we have about 10 000 science journalists worldwide. We will be looking at the membership model we have. I feel we should have a place for news media organizations, not as decision makers, they need to be part of the Federation because they’re important stakeholders – organizations for whom science journalists work. This will help African science journalists by creating more job opportunities for them.

This article is culled from African Newspage – a digital newspaper for development reporting. View the rest of the original piece on their website.