Milica Momčilović - President
Milica Momčilović has been a science journalist since 2006. She is currently a journalist, editor, and TV anchor for a science and education programme on Radio Television of Serbia (RTS), a public broadcasting service with the widest audience reach in the country, where she covers life sciences, medicine, health, and climate change, among other areas.
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 non-governmental organization devoted to the public promotion of science.
In addition, she is a science correspondent at POLITIKA, the oldest and most influential daily newspaper in Serbia and the Balkans, writing on science, medicine, and health.
Since 2016, Milica has served as editor and anchor of the New Technologies in Education programme, organized in partnership with the British Council in Serbia. This programme aims to raise awareness of the significance of using new technologies in education to help modernize teaching and learning. Previously, she was editor of “Cafe Scientific,” a TV forum for debating science issues, and of FameLab, the world’s leading science communication competition.
Milica has interviewed various national and international scientists, science communicators, and activists, including Richard Ernst, Venki Ramakrishnan, and John Ellis.
Milica’s coverage of international events geared towards science journalists, such as ESOF2014 in Copenhagen, WCSJ2015 in Seoul, WSF2015 in Budapest, ECCO2015 in Vienna, ESOF2016 in Manchester, ECSJ2017 in Copenhagen, and WCSJ2017 in San Francisco, have equipped her with considerable experience and deep knowledge of scientific issues and challenges both regionally and internationally.
Mandi Smllhorne - Vice-President
Mandi Smallhorne has been a freelance journalist in South Africa for over 20 years, focusing 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, City Press, and the Mail & Guardian newspaper. She is the editor of PhysioSA, the official magazine of the SA Society of Physiotherapy, and was for several years 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.
Currently, Mandi is president of both the South African Science Journalists’ Association (SASJA) and the African Federation of Science Journalists (AFSJ).
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.
Andrada Fiscutean - Secretary
Andrada Fiscutean is a freelance science and technology journalist based in Bucharest, Romania. She has written about Eastern European hackers, journalists attacked with malware, and scientists in developing countries. Her work has been featured in Nature, Ars Technica, Wired, Vice Motherboard, ZDNet, CSO, and the Romanian media.
Andrada has more than 20 years of experience working in radio. As editor-in-chief of ProFM, one of Romania’s largest radio networks, she assembled a team of journalists to cover local news in more than 30 towns. She also hosted a weekly one-hour show on science and technology at DigiFM Radio.
She has received several awards and fellowships and was among the professionals selected to participate in the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT in 2019.
Andrada serves as a board member of the Balkan Network of Science Journalists, a group that brings together journalism professionals from the Balkan countries.
Harry Surjadi - Treasurer
Harry Surjadi has been working as a journalist for more than 25 years. He specializes in environmental reporting. He is now a freelance journalist and contributes to Ekuatorial.com. He has founded two journalists’ organizations: the Society of Indonesian Environmental Journalists, in 2006, and the Society of Indonesian Science Journalists, in 2015. He is the executive director of the Society of Indonesian Science Journalists. From 2007 to 2008 and 2011 to 2012, Harry was a Knight International Journalism Fellow in Indonesia.
In partnership with RuaiTV, he developed a mobile phone citizen journalism model for grass-roots community members to empower them in defending their rights to forests and lands in West Kalimantan. In 2013, he received the Communication for Social Change Award from the Centre for Communication and Social Change, University of Queensland, for his work in West Kalimantan.
Bouchra Ouatik has been a journalist for seven years. Currently, she is a journalist for the science television programme “Découverte” with the French-language public broadcaster Radio-Canada. Until now, she has mainly focused on science journalism, contributing to television and radio programmes, as well as writing for magazines. As a journalist, Bouchra has a strong interest in covering social issues from a scientific perspective.
Bouchra 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.
Bouchra has been a member of the WFSJ since 2017.
Ximena Serrano is a science journalist, the president of the Colombian Association of Science Journalism and Communication (ACPC), and a consultant, researcher, and speaker on topics related to science journalism, science, technology, and innovation (STI) communication, and knowledge appropriation. She is a freelance journalist with an extensive production of videos and articles for magazines, websites, and other media outlets. She served as the director of WCSJ2023.
She holds a master’s degree in Social Communication of Scientific Research from the International University of Valencia, a specialization in Organizational Communication Management from the University of La Sabana, and diplomas in Senior Management and Digital Marketing from the same university.
Nouha Belaid holds a PhD in Media and Communication. She began her career in 2008 as a journalist before joining the academic world in 2013 until 2023. Her interest in science journalism began with the emergence of COVID-19, creating online content on the virus, advocating for good health for all and challenging climate change in regional media in Arabic and French. She even launched a Facebook series on vaccines.
She also founded the Forum of Science Journalists in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), which organizes bi-weekly online meetings by inviting advanced science journalists. The goal is to contribute to the development of science journalism practices in the region and to offer training opportunities to the journalists.
She is also a co-founder and web editor of the Arab Journalism Observatory (2016) and the citizen media “Madha Yahduth”/What’s happening? (2021). Through her media, she tries to raise awareness among citizens of current climate issues, but she emphasizes the role of the Tunisian government as well as the international community.
Nouha has covered many scientific events, including WHO EMRO conferences, She also participated in COP27 in Egypt as an accredited journalist, providing coverage for her media website as well as for Francophone radio stations in Africa.
As a Public Health media consultant, she joined the team of the FIFA World Cup 2022 health campaign, the Public Health Conference in Rwanda (CPHIA 2022), and “AHAIC202”. She’s offering a media support to a large of global institutions.
Lesley Evans Ogden
Lesley Evans Ogden. Based near Vancouver, Canada, I am a multimedia science journalist living and working on the unceded and traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples. I crossed a career bridge from scientist to journalist after a PhD and postdoctoral research in wildlife ecology. I am passionate about bringing the complexity, wonder, and nuance of science to diverse audiences. Drawn to stories about nature, the environment, wildlife, health, and the intersection of science and human rights, my work appears internationally in venues including The New York Times, BBC, CBC, Scientific American, Science, Nature, Natural History, and many others. My deep scientific background gives me a high level of trust within a rich international network of scientists and I often provide training to scientists about how to communicate their work and build positive working relationships with journalists. I previously served on the board of the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada and am a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists and National Association of Science Writers (US). It is an honour to have
been elected to the WFSJ board. In that role I am committed to creating opportunities to connect, serve and support an inclusive, equitable and diverse global community of journalists working towards a common goal of excellent science coverage.
Joseph MBENG BOUM
Joseph MBENG BOUM has nearly 13 years’ experience in science journalism. In August 2023, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the World Federation of Science Journalists for a renewable two-year term. Since 2022, he has been Coordinator of the Science Journalism Forum for French-speaking Africa. Elected National President of the Association of Science Journalists and Communicators for Health Promotion (AJC-PROSANTE) in 2020, he was re-elected on October 27, 2023 for a 03-year term. Member of the Réseau des Journalistes Scientifiques d’Afrique Francophone (RJSAF) and Member of the Science Journalists Network of Cameroon (SCILIFE). Since 2016, he has been CEO and Publication Director of ECHOS SANTE Daily (African daily for health, environmental and sustainable development news). October 2019 to date: Publishing Director of Journal Afrik Environnement (www.afrikenvironnement.info)
October 26-27, 2023: Joseph MBENG BOUM, organizes the First Conference on Journalism and Scientific Communication in Central Africa under the theme: “Public Health Emergencies in Central Africa: Issues, Challenges and Perspectives”.
October 2022: Mobilization of science journalists and organization for participation in the Science Journalism Forum.
2017-2023: Promoter and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the African Health Leadership Award in Cameroon, organized with the Ministries of Health and Communication Since 2022: Managing Director of JB Group Services (Health development communication company) Prizes and Awards December 2021: Winner of a grant to cover Covid-19 stories, DNDI December 12, 2018: Winner of the National Leadership Award on Universal Coverage in Cameroon October 2016 : Winner of the Competition for the best media productions on Global Fund grants in Cameroon organized by the Ong For Impacts In Social Health International Conferences May 2022: Participation in the 5th African Conference of Science Journalists, Kenya May 2022: Participation in a preparatory workshop for the World Health Organization Annual Meeting January 2022: Expert at the Conference on Health Journalism in Dakar, Senegal September 2021: Expert conference-debate on the vaccine hesitancy of populations vis à vis Covid-19, Yaoundé November 25-26, 2020: active participation in the Africa Health and Science Journalist workshop, Nairobi, Kenya October 2020: participation in the conference on the results of the survey to measure the impact of covid-19 services in mental health, neurology and addiction, Geneva July 2019: Communication workshop on the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, Cameroon, UNFPA,ICPD June 2019: “Lifeline” training on the use of the media in support of populations affected by Humanitarian Emergencies, Yaoundé, IFRC, USAID, BBC Media Action November 2018: participation in the 1st International Forum on Journalism in Tunis of 15 to 17 November 2018 October 2018 : Closing seminar on capacity building for traditional media on the web and social networks, bringing together managers and journalists in Dakar, Senegal November 2017: Workshop to raise awareness among media managers of the use of social networks, leading to the elaboration of a “CFI Médias” development plan, organized in Côte d’Ivoire.
Chhatra Karki is a science journalist and editor based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He holds the role of Program Director at the Nepal Forum of Science Journalists (NFSJ) and boasts a wealth of experience spanning over two decades in print, multimedia, and online journalism. Chhatra’s reporting encompasses a wide range of topics, including science, health, climate change, environment, technology, neuroscience and current events, which he covers for both national and international media outlets.
Notably, Chhatra has previously held the position of Bureau Chief at Nagarik Daily Newspaper and has served as the Editor of NepalNews, which is Nepal’s first online news portal. Presently, he contributes as a Nepal Writer for gavi.org, where his articles explore subjects such as environmental health, public health, scientific research, and vaccines.
Chhatra’s dedication to the field is further exemplified by his role as the Program Director of the Himalayan Climate Boot Camp 2022, a program generously funded by the Spark Grant Initiative. A thrilling trek from Lukla to Khumjung at an elevation of 3,800 meters in the Everest region served as the backdrop for a comprehensive study and report on the impact of climate change in the Everest region. This expedition involved 18 journalists hailing from India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, who conducted on-site research and produced reports focusing on climate change and its far-reaching effects on various aspects such as glaciers, glacial lakes, shifts in treelines, permafrost, alterations in agriculture patterns, and human health.
Chhatra, as a fellow of the Climate Action Network in South Asia, has been an active contributor to climate-related storytelling. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the promotion of science journalism, the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) honored him with the Science and Technology Journalism Award in 2021.
Chhatra’s commitment to the field of science journalism is further underscored by his instrumental role in the establishment of the Nepal Forum of Science Journalists (NFSJ) in 2014. He served as the founding president of NFSJ, an organization dedicated to enhancing the capacity of science journalists in Nepal and fostering the growth of science journalism.
Chhatra’s expertise in the field has also led to invitations to speak at the World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ) in various countries. In 2022, he co-founded the South Asian Science Journalist’s Network (SASJN).
Ben Deighton is the Managing Editor of SciDev.Net, the world’s biggest news service covering science in a development context. Ben is responsible for SciDev.Net’s strategic direction and for overseeing SciDev.Net content, ensuring its editorial independence and the quality of articles and multimedia products.
Ben has been a journalist for over 20 years and worked as a correspondent for Reuters in London and Brussels covering tech startups and biotechnology companies. Ben was founding editor of Horizon magazine, a Brussels-based publication looking at European science. Ben started out as a journalist covering crime and transport for a local newspaper, and was also editor of a magazine focussed on the global veterinary medicines sector.
Ben is also a board member of the Association of British Science Writers.