We are looking for new voices! WSFJ Board: nominations now open!
Our mandate at the World Federation of Science Journalists is to support, promote and advance science journalism across the world. We have made it our business to encourage membership in every part of the world, especially countries in what is known as the Global south, with good reason.
The back story
Science journalism has real, practical and measurable value. Good science journalism informs and enables people to make life-saving and life-altering decisions, whether that’s to have a vaccination or to vote for a party that offers a workable energy plan. The importance of our role of translating science and applied science for large audiences has been starkly illustrated in the last few years.
Just when science desks were closing and budgets for science journalism diminishing, along came a pandemic which needed the brilliant story-telling and understandable framing of concepts of which a creative, experienced science journalist is capable. All too often, shrunken newsrooms across the world, scoured of any experience with serious science, were flung into this crisis, struggling to cope. The consequences are still playing out: the loss of trust in science we’re seeing now is one vital area to which an army of well-funded, experienced and informed science journalists across the world could have made a massive difference — instead of the few valiant souls who did brilliant work against a tidal wave of disinformation.
It is an experience that will happen over and over again in the immediate and foreseeable future: the rapid advances in technology and the accelerating climate and biodiversity crises, with their inevitable companions of wild weather and natural disasters, crop failures, new pathogens and more, ensure that we do, and will, “live in interesting times.”
A huge and largely unearned burden will fall on the people of the Global south – indeed, it is already bowing their shoulders.
Many of these countries have small but fiercely dedicated groups of science journalists, people committed to explaining and critically analyzing science, even when it is not practical for them to earn their full income from this passion. It is our job as the WFSJ to help them face the storm equipped with every possible tool to enable them to do the task before them: tell their audiences the stories of science, in whatever medium and in whatever way, to equip them with knowledge and enable them to make life-changing decisions with some measure of confidence.
Board members need passion and commitment
We are looking for people who clearly understand the vision of how science is woven into daily life and has an impact on everyone, everywhere; we’re looking for people who have a clear sense of what science journalism is, the crucial role that it plays, who have moved way beyond being “science groupies”; science journalists who explain and communicate while holding science, scientists and science policymakers to account, and, in a new twist, while offering evidence-based truths in clever and creative ways to counter disinformation.
We are looking for people who clearly understand the need to support and equip science journalists operating in regions which are far-flung and not richly resourced, regions which have taken and are taking a battering due, in many ways, to the past and present actions of the better-resourced regions of the world. We are one humanity; if one part of the whole suffers, the injury will affect everyone.
We are looking for people with passion, commitment, selflessness and integrity to serve science journalism and their journalist colleagues rather than themselves.
Roll up your sleeves!
One factor central to the success of the WSFJ is that its Board should be a working body.
Key responsibilities of WFSJ Board members:
Provide strategic leadership to the organisation and actively contribute with professional expertise to support the work; understand key views, values, attitudes and actions important to potential members-to-be; and attract new member associations by triggering their interest and engagement.
Cultivate relationships with corporate and community partners.
Act in the best interest of and be an ambassador for WFSJ towards its members and the community at large, including stakeholders and policy-makers.
The time commitment is approximately 10 hours per month.
The Board normally meets 6 to 8 times per year, mostly online outside regular working hours.
Each Board Member should contribute to at least one committee, task force or working group.
Board Members are expected to serve two year term 2023 – 2025
How to apply to become a candidate for election:
All candidates should submit a motivation letter explaining why they are interested in becoming a Board member. The letter should demonstrate commitment, time availability and vision, highlighting how their expertise will help the organisation to achieve its goals. We also request a short biography (2 pages max.), two recommendation letters, and a photo.
Additionally, full member associations should submit a signed document stating that the candidate was nominated to serve on the WFSJ Board by the majority of votes. The minutes of that Board meeting should be attached to the document.
Only candidates who submit the full documentation will be eligible for elections.
The WFSJ Board position is non-remunerated.
To provide fairness and equality to all members, elections will be conducted online. Applications from all eligible candidates will be distributed to full members of the WFSJ, who will cast their votes in an electronic secret — ballot election.
Please submit your documentation by 30 April 2023 to email@example.com
For general inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org