The team

The WCSJ 2019 Core Team (as of July 2017) includes:


Olivier Dessibourg is an award-winning science journalist and editor. For 12 years until December 2016, he headed the Science section at the Ringier Axel Springer Switzerland newsroom for the daily Le Temps, covering all fields from hard sci- ence to health and environmental issues. A physicist, mathematician and science teacher by training, he is President of the Swiss Association of Science Journalism SASJ, and the Swiss delegate to the WFSJ. His articles appear in Le Temps, New Scientist (UK), Le Monde and La Recherche (France).


Stéphane Praz is a freelance science journalist and science communicator. He is trained as an anthropologist, but mainly covers topics in public health, medical and biological research. His articles have appeared in diverse Swiss newspapers and specialized journals, among them NZZ, NZZamSonntag, Tages-Anzeiger, and SonntagsZeitung. Stéphane, a SASJ member, is currently Head of Knowledge Transfer for the Swiss National Research Programme “Antimicrobial Resistance” (NRP 72).


Yves Sciama is a French freelancer who has won several awards and fellow- ships, including a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at MIT in 2014. Trained in biology and science journalism, he covers life and environmental sciences. Yves collaborates closely with Science et Vie, a major French-language science magazine, and his work has appeared in Le Monde, Libération, and in Science. He has also done some documentary writing and website design, and is the author of several books. Yves is the international delegate of the board of AJSPI.


An oceanographer by training, Viviane Thivent became a science journalist in 2002, mainly to continue learning. She has worked for many magazines and newspapers (Le Monde, National Geographic France, Sciences et Avenir, The good life, XXI…). An investigative reporter, she is very interested by connections between science and society. Currently president of the AJSPI, she is also CEO of “Les Transméduses”, a company that is creating, testing, and developing new ways to tell journalistic stories.


Fabio Turone is Editor in Chief of the Agency Zoe based in Milan (working for several media, covering mostly medicine and health), and Executive Director of the newly launched Centre for Ethics in Science and Journalism. President of the Association Science Writers in Italy, SWIM, since its launch in 2009, he has organised science journalism schools and workshops in Italy and abroad, for UNESCO among others. In 2016-17 he was a Research Fellow on the Knight Science Journalism Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Michael Balavoine is a journalist and Deputy Director at Médecine et Hygiène (M&H). This leading medical content producer in Western Switzerland publishes the Revue Médicale Suisse, a weekly magazine and a website ( for medical practitioners. Michael is also Editor in Chief of PlanèteSanté, a website ( and a magazine delivering high quality health content for a broad public. M&H also organises PlanèteSanté Live, a big health show with more than 90 exhibitors that attracts 30 000 visitors over four days. Michael studied computer science, German and the history of science at the Universities of Geneva and Berlin, and at ETH Zürich.


Trained as a biologist, Cécile Klingler soon turned journalist, specializing in life sciences, health and topics relating to science and society. For 14 years, she was in charge of the biology-medicine section at the French magazine La Recherche. She switched to freelancing two years ago, developing skills in data journalism and data visualization. She is also the cofounder and data project manager at PixScience, a science information design agency launched in 2016.


Christine D’Anna-Huber is the Secretary-General of the Swiss Association of Science Journalism and an independent consultant specialising in the filed of science communication with mandates from the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences and the Swiss Foundation for Technology Assessment, TA-SWISS, among others. She has studied comparative linguistics and is an award winning journalist with over 20 years’ experience as a political, cultural and scientific correspondent for several Swiss newspapers and radio stations.


This Wachter is an audio and science journalist currently working as a freelancer in Bern, Switzerland. Until 2016 he was a senior producer at Swiss Public Radio. He led the production of the national 24-hour talk radio station, Radio SRF 4 News. In 2012, he was awarded the honour of the “Prix Média” from the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences for his radio feature about the late Swiss- American bridge-builder Othmar Ammann. This Wachter moved to Swiss Public Radio after 12 years in print journalism.

Science team


Emmanuel Barraud is Editor in chief at the media and communication service of EPFL, one of the two Swiss federal institutes of technology. A high school diploma in Science followed by Masters studies in French literature, philosophy and religious sciences led him quite naturally to science journalism. After seven years of activity in the regional newspaper 24heures, he joined EPFL, first as a science writer committed to the popularisation of science. He now leads a team of 10 and corresponds with science journalists from all over the world.


Trained as a science communicator, Arnaud Marsollier has spent the last 20 years in science outreach and communications. He started his career developing programmes for education within youth science associations in Paris covering astrophysics and space. He has worked for the French Association for Astronomy, the National Air and Space Museum and collaborated with the French Space Agency. Ten years ago, he joined CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics. In 2014, he was appointed Head of Media Relations. He holds a Master’s degree in science communications.

Side-project contributors


Mico Tatalovic is a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before this, he worked as environment news editor at New Scientist magazine in London, UK, and as news editor at SciDev.Net, a global science and development news website, helping to coordinate a global network of science journalists reporting from South America, Africa, and Asia. He is chair- man of the Association of British Science Writers, ABSW, and sits on the board of the Balkan Network of Science Journalists.


Gabriele Hess-Fernandez has been reporting for over 25 years about science, medicine and technology for print, radio, online and TV magazines in Europe. She holds a graduate degree in chemistry from the Freie Universität Berlin and teaches science communication at Nantes University. Her experience in video production includes national TV broadcasters ZDF, BBC, Deutsche Welle TV and ARTE. Until the end of 2016, she was the scientific Editor-in-Chief of the weekly science magazine FUTUREMAG, broadcast on the European cultural channel, ARTE. She is a member of AJSPI.

Logistics organisation team


Gerald Howard has been working in the domain of events and congresses for the last 19 years. His professional experience was developed in and with three main professional categories of actors in events: International organisations (ITU, WHO, UNAIDS), corporate entities (MCI-group) and associations (Society Petroleum Engineering, Lausanne Tourism and Congress Bureau). He specializes in congress management (committees, sponsoring & exhibition, speakers, social events, abstracts, registration). Since 2012, he was in charge of the congress market with the Lausanne Tourism and Congress Bureau. His main task is to support clients with the development of events and conferences in Lausanne. In January 2017, he has taken over the sales’ development of a new alliance called the Lausanne-Montreux Congress unit.


For the WCSJ 2019, LMC is offering its professional event services: online and onsite registration, hotel management, sponsoring, exhibition and speaker coordination, abstracts and social events management. LMC will also provide help to put in place the professional scientific and touristic excursions. A team of around 10 people will ensure the operational and secretariat part of the WCSJ.

Since 1887, Lausanne Tourism has been under continuous development. After 130 years of services, the office offers more than just services for tourists. With over 57 international federations, associations and institutions in Lausanne, the Lausanne Convention Bureau has developed and structured not only solid networking with all regional suppliers but also a state of the art client service that enables any client to fulfil their event’s potential with total satisfaction. From 2010, Lausanne Tourism’s office has handled no fewer than 127 events and congresses for more than 84 267 participants. And since January 2017, the Lausanne and Montreux Convention Bureaux have joined forces as a single entity: the Lausanne-Montreux Congress for the benefit of all: three conference centres, 132 hotels and more than 80 special venues in the region.

Bid sounding/advisory board


Christoph Ungar is currently a scientific journalist and producer of the prime time TV health show 36.9 at Swiss broadcaster, RTS. After completing a Masters degree in Biochemistry at the University of Geneva and Queensland, Australia, followed by several years of medical research in the development of new cures for AIDS and cancer, Christoph refocused his career on journalism. In 2004, he was selected by the Training Centre for Television Production (CFTV) as a video journalist for TSR (now RTS). He then trained as news reporter for Canal9 in the Canton of Valais, and at the Swiss Romand Centre for Journalism (CRFJ). He has been registered as a professional Swiss journalist since 2006.


Dominique Leglu is Editorial Director of the Paris-based science magazine Sciences et Avenir and (audience 5 million), since 2003, and of La Recherche since 2017. She was formerly head of the scientific section of daily Libération for 14 years before being its associate editor. Dominique also worked for French TV, for publishers (Robert Laffont), and has written five books. She is a former President of AJSPI, delegate to EUSJA and a member of the think tank EuropaNova. Dominique has a background in particle physics (PhD, 1978, College de France in Paris) and an interest in arms control (M.Sc, 2002, Uni Marne-la- Vallée). She is a receipient of the Grand Prize of scientific divulgation from the French academy of science.


James Gillies began his career at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory, as a research scientist in the mid-1980s. After a stint as Head of Science with the British Council in Paris, he returned to CERN in 1995 as a science writer. He was Head of the Organization’s communication group from 2003 to 2015, and has since been working in the strategic planning and evaluation unit, while also assisting the SESAME laboratory in Jordan with communications during its start-up phase. He is co-author of “How the Web was Born”, a history of the Internet published in 2000 and described by the London Times as being among the year’s ten best books for inquisitive minds.


Reto U. Schneider is the deputy editor of NZZ-Folio, the monthly magazine of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung in Zürich, Switzerland. A former engineer, he switched to science journalism some thirty years ago and specialized in long narrative stories. A four time science journalist of the year he was also a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT in 1987-88 and President of the Swiss Science Writers Association from 2001 to 2005.

Bid team

OLIVIER DESSIBOURG Freelance journalist, President SASJ (co-lead)

STEPHANE PRAZ Freelance journalist, member SASJ (co-lead)

ARNAUD MARSOLLIER Head of Media Relations, CERN

ASTRID TOMCZAK-PLEWKA Freelance science journalist, member SASJ

AURÉLIE COULON Science journalist, RTS television, member SASJ

AURÉLIE KUNTSCHEN Press officer, University of Geneva

BENJAMIN BOLLMANN Head of science programmes at SwissNex San Francisco

CÉCILE KLINGLER Freelance science journalist, member AJSPI, delegate WFSJ

CLAUDIA STEINER Freelance science journalist, member SASJ

CRISTINA GARCIA FERNANDEZ Press officer consultant, CERN

DANIELA OVADIA Freelance science journalist, member SWIM

EMMANUEL BARRAUD Editor in Chief MediaCom EPFL

FABIO TURONE Freelance science journalist, President SWIM

BEATRICE MAUTINO Freelance science journalist, board member SWIM

FRÉDÉRIC SCHÜTZ Wikimedia Switzerland

GABRIELE HESS-FERNANDEZ Science journalist, former FutureMag editor in chief, ARTE

GERALD HOWARD Sales development manager, Lausanne Montreux Congress

HANNA WICK Science journalist, SRF Swiss television, former board member SASJ

IGOR CHLEBNY Press officer, University of Neuchâtel

JACOPO PASOTTI Freelance science journalist, member SASJ and SWIM

LIA ROSSO Freelance science journalist, member of SASJ

MADELEINE VON HOLZEN Head of communication, EPFL

MARTIN AMREIN Science journalist NZZamSonntag, board member SASJ


MICHAEL BALAVOINE Editor in chief PlanèteSanté, member SASJ

OLIVIER MATHIEU Congress & event manager, Lausanne Tourism & Convention Bureau

PHILIPPE GAGNEBIN Head of communication, University of Lausanne

RAYMOND BENOIT Freelance science journalist, member SASJ

THIS WACHTER Freelance science journalist, SRF Radio, former board member SASJ

VIVIANE THIVENT Freelance science journalist, president AJSPI

YVES SCIAMA Freelance science journalist, Science&Vie, board member AJSPI