On April, 3, 4 and 5, members of several WFSJ affiliate organizations will be participating in the first Symposium to Advance Science Communication and Journalism in Chile (abbreviated SAPeCCT for its name in Spanish), an event designed to bring together actors from all sectors of science communication and journalism to discuss the field’s future in Chile. SAPeCCT will feature more than 40 prominent speakers, who together represent at least seven countries and six Chilean regions. The symposium will convene journalists, scientists, students, university faculty and government officials to discuss how to increase representation of Chilean journalists in international science outlets and advance science communication and journalism in Chile.

“We’re delighted to be supporting an event that stands to benefit both the local science journalism community in Chile and to further international collaborations,” said Olivier Dessibourg, Chairman of the Spark Grant Initiative, which first supported the project with funding made available by several science journalists organisations in Europe and the United States. “We see these kinds of events as an important step to increasing diversity and quality coverage in science journalism worldwide.”

A narrow country nestled between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Chile boasts 6,435 kilometers of coastline, some 80% of South America’s glaciers and more than half of the world’s large telescopes. Chile is the top global producer of copper and iodine, the number two producer of lithium and one of the world’s top ten agricultural exporters. Chile, however, is one of many nations underrepresented in international science journalism, an issue that SAPeCCT will help address. SAPeCCT will also promote the importance of accurate and accessible science communication for productive public discourse and decision-making within Chile, a country that faces major threats from climate-change-driven water stress and sea-level rise.

SAPeCCT will kick off with a plenary about the importance of science communication in Chile by Andrea Obaid, the current president of The Chilean Association of Journalists and Professionals for the Communication of Science (ACHIPEC) and a well-known journalist, who has launched numerous science-related television and radio shows in Chile. Other speakers will include Mongabay Latam editor Michelle Carrere, Chilean senator Francisco Chahuán, and former ACHIPEC president Nélida Pohl, who founded the first science communication graduate program in Chile. Aleida Rueda, former president of the Mexican Network of Science Journalists and current president of SAPeCCT’s content committee will also appear as a session moderator. SAPeCCT’s full program is available on the website https://sapecctchile.com, where information about how to watch SAPeCCT’s streamed talks will be available in March. 

“This is a great opportunity for science communicators in Chile to come together, along with various international participants, to discuss the future of our field,” Obaid said. “It’s wonderful to see so many members of ACHIPEC, along with other accomplished colleagues represented in the program.”

SAPeCCT is possible thanks to the Spark Grant Initiative (SGI), originally funded with 100,000 US dollars provided by the Swiss Association of Science Journalism (SASJ), the French Association des journalistes scientifiques de la presse d’information (AJSPI), and Science Writers in Italy (SWIM), which together organized the World Conference of Science Journalists WCSJ2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland, as well as the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW), both from the United States, which put together the previous edition WCSJ2017 in San Francisco. The SGI is managed under the auspices of the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ). Other supporters of SAPeCCT include ACHIPEC, the University of Andrés Bello, EurekAlert, Pfizer, and the University of California at Santa Cruz. The project is directed by Lindzi Wessel and Paulina Godoy Stahl. If you’d like to be a part of SAPeCCT, please reach out! If you’d like to make an individual donation to support SAPeCCT you can do so here

Left to right in the picture: Aleida Rueda, Paulina Godoy Stahl, Andrea Obaid and Lindzi Wessel

Olivier Dessibourg

Chairman of Spark Grant Initiative and President of the Jury

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