I have Invaded the World Conference of Science Journalists
The American film writer, actor and director Michael Moore produced a film in 2015 entitled “Where to Invade Next”, traveling to Italy, France, Finland, Tunisia, Slovenia, Germany, and Portugal to learn from those countries’ experiences of handlingsocial and economic challenges.
Very aware of the greatness of the United States in many areas, such as establishing military camps across the globe, Moore also famously comments on the USA’s failings in delivering quality services and education, and in building productive workforces. His film investigate the secrets of success of the countries he visits in order to bring lessons home.
Winning a travel grant to attend WCSJ2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland, I also feel like I have invaded, because I too am learning from international successes through networking with fellow professionals, science communicators, respected and eminent world-class scholars including Nobel Laureates and globally celebrated speakers.
My aim is to take some valuable lessons home with me to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Julianna Photopoulos, from Greece (left) and Andrada Fiscutean from Romania (right).
The Balkan Science Journalism Workshop, which I attended on 1 July, was a pre-conference event organized by the Center for Ethics in Science and Journalism (CESJ), the Balkan Network of Science Journalists (BNSJ) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission. I registered for this workshop hoping to learn from the experience of science journalists from Balkan and European nations, and I was not disappointed: the workshop looked at the science of science journalism and gave a wealth of advice on how we can tackle the challenges we face as science journalists.
The workshop shed light on the resources and state-of-the-art facilities of the European JRC: outstanding information sources for science journalists all around the world.
Italian science writer Daniela Ovadia of CESJ gave a presentation outlining the role science journalists can play as informal ethics checkers.
In the panel discussion on building a freelance career Andrada Fiscutean of Romania shared a fascinating anecdote citing Donald Trump’s influence on her freelance work: she feels that many media outlets spotlight the President’s activities too much. All in all, it was a great way to start my invasion, leaving me thirsty for more at the conference proper!
Opinions expressed in the blog posts are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of WCSJ2019