World Conference of Science Journalists Lausanne a “tremendous success”
The 11th World Conference of Science Journalists is over and the numbers are in. WCSJ2019 attracted 1137 registered delegates from 83 countries to Lausanne between 1-5 July. Of the participants, 60% were female. Additionally, 120 day passes were issued.
The conference delegates had 337 speakers to choose from in 63 sessions, nine luncheons, five press conferences and seven workshops. Of the speakers, 164 were women and 173 men. 109 travel scholarships were awarded, mainly to journalists coming from developing countries. The Exhibition space hosted booths from 38 exhibitors, showcasing advances in science and media technologies.
On each day of the conference, held on the campus shared by EPFL and the University of Lausanne, there were around 50 daily lunchtime visits to laboratories to meet researchers. Many delegates also took advantage of one or more of the 30 field trips on offer.
The largest number of delegates were from Switzerland (255), followed by the US (139) and then the UK (105), France (91), Germany (75) and Italy (46). There were also strong numbers from Belgium (33), Finland (26), Japan (24), Canada (23), India (19), the Russian Federation (18), Sweden (17), Spain (17), Australia (14) the Netherlands (13), Mexico (12), Korea (12) and Brazil (12).
There were lively parallel discussions, thought-provoking plenaries and inspiring keynotes on a range of topics, from CRISPR to climate change adaptation and biodiversity, and from corporate manipulation to the challenges faced by journalists in the global south.
“WCSJ2019 was a tremendous success,” said President of the Organizing Committee, Olivier Dessibourg. “There are many reasons for that, but we are particularly proud of the fact that our key message that quality independent science journalism in the worldwide media is vital, and that it needs to be supported and nurtured, was made not only by participants, but also by decision makers, politicians and scientists who were invited to speak at the conference.”
The next World Conference of Science Journalists will be held in Medellin, Colombia in 2021.