Lausanne chosen to host 2019 World Conference of Science Journalists

On 28 October 2017 in San Francisco, the city of Lausanne was chosen to host the 11th World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ) from 1 to 5 July 2019 at the SwissTech Convention Center, on the campus of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the University of Lausanne (UNIL). Every two years, this gathering attracts over a thousand journalists and communicators of science representing more than 60 nationalities. Launched by the Swiss Association of Science Journalism (ASJS), soon to be joined by its sister organizations in France (AJSPI) and Italy (SWIM), the Lausanne candidacy won over the Board of Directors of the World Federation of Science Journalists, which oversees the conference series.

See bottom page for the release in French, Italian and German

Following San Francisco in the United States in 2017 and Seoul in South Korea in 2015, the WCSJ returns to Europe after a six-year gap. In Lausanne, between 1000 and 1200 participants are expected to attend. For the first time, three science writers’ associations joined forces to apply: the Swiss Association for Science Journalism, ASJS, the French Association of Science Journalists in the news media, AJSPI, and Science Writers in Italy, SWIM. “We are very honoured that Lausanne has been chosen to host this important event,” said Olivier Dessibourg, President of the ASJS and initiator of the bid. “We put forward the vision of a conference organized by and for science journalists to present, defend and promote quality independent journalism in the media worldwide; an aspect that certainly helped us win.” The motif chosen for the conference, “Reaching new heights in science journalism”, uses the mountains shared by the three bidding countries as a symbol and common thread running through the event.

A rich programme

“The main program will give participants the opportunity to share good practice and reflect on the values of the profession of science journalism, it will also allow them to discover new tools and how to implement them,” said Yves Sciama, Vice President of the AJSPI. The conference will be built around original forms of presentation including creative workshops, mobile debates, brainstorming discussions and tutorials. “Longer-term projects, which will be launched before WCSJ 2019, will build closer links between communities of science writers around the world, one focusing on French-speaking science journalists, another on science writers in the Balkans,” added Fabio Turone, President of SWIM.

The Lausanne candidacy has enjoyed the support of four major academic partners from the start: the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CERN, and the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva. “We are very pleased to welcome the global community of science journalists to the EPFL/UNIL campus,” said Pierre Vandergheynst, Vice President of EPFL. “Our campus’s work is essential in providing the general public with a clear, responsible and healthy vision of scientific progress.” Vandergheynst was present in San Francisco to support the bid. The four academic partners will offer a range of laboratory visits. “Science is vital in today’s society,” said Arnaud Marsollier, Head of Press at CERN. “More than ever, the world’s major scientific challenges require a global effort, for which quality science journalism is vital. CERN is happy to support this initiative and to open its doors to journalists from around the world attending WCSJ 2019.” As well as visits to the partner institutions, some thirty other study tours will be organized, ranging from trips to alpine research stations to tours of many Swiss and European institutions easily accessible from Lausanne’s central European location.

Academic, scientific, political and media support

In addition to academic and scientific support, the Lausanne candidacy also benefits from important backing from Swiss political, media and economic actors: the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation; Presence Switzerland; the City of Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud. European Institutions have also thrown their weight behind the bid, notably the European Commission, Euronews, the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), and institutions such as the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). “This conference is a unique opportunity for Switzerland to demonstrate to journalists from around the world that behind our famous mountains and chocolate lies a centre of scientific excellence,” said Nicolas Bideau, Head of Presence Switzerland.

Many public and private actors have already given an undertaking to support the conference, notably the Bertarelli Foundation, which will become the main sponsor of the event. “Congratulations to the alpine team on its success,” said Ernesto Bertarelli. “This is another demonstration of the Lake Geneva region’s global standing in science, technology and engineering. I am proud, through the Bertarelli Foundation, to support this showcase of Swiss innovation, which will also share global knowledge and experience in science with our partners from all over the world.” Gérald Howard of the Lausanne Montreux Congress bureau, which was involved in the organisation from the start, added: “The global visibility given to the Lausanne region through WCSJ 2019 and its participants will bring significant benefits for tourism and the local economy.” “This conference is a unique opportunity for Switzerland to demonstrate to journalists from around the world that behind our famous mountains and chocolate lies a centre of scientific excellence,” said Nicolas Bideau, Head of Presence Switzerland.

Almost half of the conference budget, estimated at 2.2 Million Swiss Francs (roughly 2 Million Euros) has already been secured.

Contact:

Olivier Dessibourg, President of the Swiss Association of Science Journalism, ASJS (www.science-journalism.ch)

Tel. +41787128868 or +33650683767

E-mail : dessibourgolivier@gmail.com

 

Yves Sciama, Vice President of the French Association of Science Journalists in the news media, AJSPI (www.ajspi.com)

Tel : +33789861377

E-mail : yves.sciama@gmail.com

 

Fabio Turone, President of Science Writers in Italy, SWIM (www.sciencewriters.it)

Tel : +393474419268

E-mail : turone@agenziazoe.it

 

Further information:

The Franco-Italo-Swiss candidacy for the World Conference of Science Journalists 2019: www.wcsj2019.eu

Video of the climb to the summit of Mount Dolent (3,820 m), geographical meeting point of the three bidding countries, by journalists from the bid team:

https://vimeo.com/238779805/44a6f20a8d

 

ENGLISH – WCSJ2019 PressRelease 28oct2017

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Lausanne in the final race for the attribution choice

Press release – October 17th 2017, Lausanne

World Conference of Science Journalists 2019: Lausanne in the final race for the attribution choice

The City of Lausanne, Switzerland, is in competition to obtain the organization of the 11th World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ) from 1 to 5 July 2019, at the Swiss Tech Convention Center, on the EPFL/UNIL campus. This gathering attracts every two years more than a thousand journalists and scientific writers representing over 60 nationalities. The Swiss Association of Science Journalism, which made the original proposal to organize the 2019 conference, was quickly joined by its sister organizations in France and Italy, with the backing of the Lausanne Montreux Congress. The Lausanne candidature has already obtained nearly 50 partners and sponsors, including some who are active worldwide. The choice of the next host city will be made on October 28th during the next WCSJ, which will be held in San Francisco, USA.

In order to attract this conference, Lausanne has numerous positive cards to play. Thanks to the intense work of the initiators and the organizers Lausanne’s candidature has drawn widespread support from the academic, political and economic sectors of Switzerland. In addition, support has come from all over Europe, notably from the European Commission and institutions such as the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

Academic, political, scientific and institutional support

The three originating associations, the Swiss Association of Science Journalism (SASJ), the French Association of Scientific Journalists for press information (AJSPI) and Science Writers in Italy (SWIM) were supported from the beginning by four major academic partners: The Swiss Institute of Technology in Lausanne EPFL, the CERN and the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva. They can also count on important political contacts at the levels of the city of Lausanne, the Canton of Vaud and the Confederation. Other private and public actors, such as the Bertarelli Foundation (principal sponsor) have joined in the event. Nearly half the budget of the congress is already ensured as of today.

If Lausanne obtains this conference, organized under the aegis of the World Federation of Scientific Journalists WFSJ, the activities will be broadcast thanks to partnerships with the RTS, Euronews and EBU who plan to establish together a “media center” at the conference site.

Ambitious program and partnership with the Balkans

The provisional program is as attractive as it is ambitious. In addition to the presentations of the prestigious speakers at the Swiss Tech Convention Center, situated in the heart of the EPFL/UNIL campus and capable of accommodating 25,000 persons, sessions in innovative formats are foreseen: creative workshops, mobile debates, tutorials or brainstorming sessions. Long-term projects and satellite events will complete the program. Of interest will be the establishment of a privileged partnership with the scientific journalist community in the Balkans. “We want a conference organized by and for the science journalists, in order to defend, present and promote independent scientific journalism of outstanding quality in the medias throughout the entire world”, sums up Olivier Dessibourg, President of the SASJ and initiator of the candidacy.

Many visits to scientific and touristic sites are foreseen, in Lausanne (lunches in the campus laboratories), all over Switzerland and in the bordering countries. The participants will be able to visit, amongst other institutions, the CERN at Geneva, IBM Research at Zurich, the new Agora cancer center at Lausanne, the Campus Biotech in Geneva, the European Astronauts Center at Cologne, the Ecological Hut of Mont Rose at Zermatt or if they wish, the Sanofi Pasteur laboratories at Lyon – the largest center in the world for research, development, and production of vaccines. Amongst the more touristic attractions are to be found the Lavaux vinyards, Aquatis (the largest soft water aquarium in Europe), Glacier 3000 or the Grande-Dixence dam.

High stakes in case of victory

In a Switzerland which draws its economic success largely from science and innovation and which has been at the top of the “Global innovation index” for several years, Lausanne and the entirety of the Lemanic arc profit from a unique environment, with high quality schools of higher education, well known multinationals as well as numerous start-up enterprises active principally in the area of life sciences. The stakes are high in case of victory. The potential worldwide visibility of Lausanne and its region through the WCSJ and its participants implies important fallout for the economic and touristic activities. In addition, the exceptional quality of local and swiss-wide research, as well as its innovation will be reinforced.

For five years the Lausanne Office of Congresses – today the Lausanne Montreux Congress (LMC) – has collaborated in this unique tri-national candidature. The three journalistic associations, supported by Presence Swiss and encouraged by Switzerland Tourism, will go to San Francisco (USA) the latter part of October to defend this tri-national candidature. The final decision should be taken the 28th of October. In 2015, the cities of Montreal, Madrid and Copenhagen also launched their work for a candidacy.

Contacts:

Olivier Dessibourg, President of the Swiss Association of Science Journalism SASJ

Gérald Howard, Senior Business Development Manager, Lausanne Montreux Congress

Information:

Swiss-french-italian bid for the WCSJ2019: www.wcsj2019.eu

Swiss Association of Science Journalism: www.science-journalism.ch

Association française des journalistes scientifiques de la presse d’information: www.ajspi.com

Science writers in Italy: www.sciencewriters.it

The bid will be presented on Tuesday, 26 October 2017 in San Francisco during the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists hosted by the US National Association of Science Writers

The ClimateMusic Project as part of the Alpine effort to bring the WCSJ2019 to Lausanne

As a celebration for the Alpine Bid to host the 2019 World Conference of Science Journalists, SwissNex San Francisco will host a fascinating event on October 26: The ClimateMusic Project will perform “Climate,” by composer Erik Ian Walker, written with the goal of communicating in an original and effective way the future impact on climate of today’s human activities.

 

It’s a 30-minute piece that spans 500 years (1800-2300AD) of the climate’s past and present, as well as two possible future scenarios based on data from the Community Earth System Model (CESM), an open model that has been used extensively in national and international assessments of climate change.

These live performances include synchronized visuals and post-concert public forums, where audiences are invited to engage with scientists, composers, and musicians. The program includes a discussion with William Collins, scientific advisor to the ClimateMusic Project.