And the grantees are…


We are thrilled to announce the awardees for the Springer Nature travel grants this week. They are from the Philippines, Chile, Guatemala and South Africa. Each has a proven track record of producing high-quality, accurate, and engaging science journalism and we look forward to welcoming them to Medellín at the end of the month. The grantees are… 

Paula Diaz Levi, a science and environmental journalist based in Santiago, Chile, with experience in the media, conservation organisations, research centres and projects focused mostly on biodiversity and climate change. She currently works as editor and mentor in Climate Tracker for Latin America and the Caribbean, and also collaborates in Chilean and foreign media.

Paula has worked as a science journalist at the international marine conservation organisation Oceana, and also at the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity (IEB), a research centre focused on biodiversity sciences. 

Purple Romero, who has reported about climate change, health and the environment for over 10 years, with her reports published on Climate Home, Reuters Alertnet, SciDev.Net, Mongabay and Science for the People. She has also fact-checked misinformation about climate change for AFP Philippines and COVID-19 vaccines now at Annie Lab, a verified signatory of the International Fact-checking Network.

Jorge Rodriguez, a journalist based in Guatemala. After a run in traditional media, he decided to try his luck in other types of journalism, mainly focused on sustainable development, the environment, and indigenous peoples. Since 2018 Jorge has been a regular collaborator of international outlets such as National Geographic, Mongabay, and CGTN, among others. Since 2020, he’s also focused on science topics, especially those related to conservation and biodiversity. Since 2015 he has directed Viatori, a digital outlet he founded, focusing on climate change, science, sustainability, and indigenous peoples from Guatemala and the rest of the Central American region.

Engela Duvenage, a freelance science writer from South Africa. Her children’s story book on more than 100 scientists, engineers and inventors with South African links, Inventors, Bright Minds and Other Science Heroes of South Africa (Penguin) was published in 2021. It was first published in 2020 in Afrikaans as Uitvinders, Planmakers en ander Slimkoppe van Suid-Afrika (LAPA). She works in both Afrikaans and English, and specialises in “translating” South African research findings into popular articles, press releases and people-driven profile articles for newspapers, magazines, websites and institutional publications. On the international front she has recently published articles on the new Nature Africa website, and in the Down to Earth magazine from India. Locally she writes an environmental column and a book column for the family magazine Lig, and compiles a weekly agrisciences column for a South African agricultural magazine, Landbouweekblad. Engela holds an MPhil degree in Journalism from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. She has been commended for her work in the agricultural sector by among others the South African deciduous fruit industry and Agricultural Writers SA.

Highlights from the programme

Plenary: Energy Security

This panel will probe energy security in the context of the global energy crisis and how to maintain climate change aspirations in line with countries’ development priorities.

Panel will include:

Gustavo De Vivero, a Colombian climate and energy expert working at the NewClimate Institute, a Germany-based think tank providing evidence to tackle the climate crisis. As an expert in low-carbon development and climate policy analysis he focuses on policy, market design and technoeconomic analysis of the energy transition. His expertise covers, among others, providing support to national governments to increase their climate ambition and to drive the energy transition. He is also part of the Climate Action Tracker team that evaluates national climate change efforts and quantifies GHG emissions and reduction potentials.

Too many stories: What one news organisation is doing to broaden its impact

A nonprofit environmental science and conservation news platform, Mongabay is the world’s most popular rainforest information site, with more than six million visitors per month and stories in nearly a dozen languages. To further expand the impact of its evidence-based reporting, Mongabay is exploring ways to build capacity. Learn about plans for field collaboration with Mongabay reporters and other steps to increase the number of original stories they publish each year.

Speaker: Rhett Butler, the CEO of Mongabay, which he founded in 1999 to raise awareness about tropical forests and biodiversity. Beyond Mongabay, Rhett has advised a range of organisations and institutions, while his writing and photography have appeared in hundreds of publications. Rhett’s work has been recognized with the Heinz Award and the Parker/Gentry Award, among other honours.

Journalism to save lives: facing today and tomorrow’s disasters

Built on close yet independent relationships between science, journalism, at-risk communities, and experts working on framing research investigations, agendas, stories, public policy, and transparency. And how this cross-cutting effort could be key to reducing the risk and impact of disasters in a future where more disasters are expected.

Moderator Patricia Luna 

Speakers: Nahuel Arenas – UNDRR , María Isabel TorresMongabay ,
Alejandra Xanic – Quinto Elemento Lab 

The World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ, is the biggest global event on science journalism, attracting approximately 1,200 journalists covering science and medical issues, as well as international experts, scientists, and communicators, among others.

The 10th World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ2017) in San Francisco (26–30 October 2017) and the 11th World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ2019) in Lausanne (1-5 July 2019) both attracted more than 1,300 attendees. WCSJ2022 Medellín will be hosted at the extraordinary venue of the city’s Jardin Botánico de Medellín from 27-31 March 2023. 

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