Science policy is one of the most under-reported areas in science journalism. The long term project “Struggle With Politics” has tried to change this by pairing journalists with politically active scientists. From June 2018 until May 2019, six journalists followed six scientists in six different countries who have been on a political journey, reporting on the successes and failures of each scientist-activist as they work to educate lawmakers and promote science in political discourse.
The project board awarded the first prize to the Indonesian science journalist Dyna Rochmyaningsih for her story "Advocating international collaboration". She followed biologist Berry Juliandi who opposes criminal sanctions for foreign scientists breaking the country's new and very strict rules.
The second prize is shared by Núria Jar from Spain and by Brunno Massare from Argentina.
Núria Jar's story "In the midst of political turbulence" followed Arcadi Navarro who after a long scientific career led the Secretariat for Universities and Research of the Government of Catalonia. He was involved in politics and policy-making during turbulent times; as Catalonia declared independence from Spain.
In the story "Opposing as a congressman" Bruno Massare followed Roberto Salvarezza, a prestigious scientist who decided to get involved fully in politics as a congressman fighting against the progressive reduction of funds for science and the suspension of research programmes.
The participating journalists told their multimedia story in three parts. The stories are published on www.wcsj2019.eu/struggle-with-politics.
The project took place within the framework of the World Conference of Science Journalists 2019. “Struggle With Politics” was supported by the Fondation H. Dudley Wright, Geneva, Switzerland.
Mandi Smallhorne, science journalist, Johannesburg, South Africa
President of the African Federation of Science Journalists, Board member of the World Federation of Science Journalists