Past EUSJA Treasurer New President of WFSJ

The European science journalists were well represented at the the 7. World Conference of Science Journalists, held in Doha, Qatar from June 27 to June 29, 2011. Vice president Barbara […]

Dohan Skyline

Doha skyline at night.

The European science journalists were well represented at the the 7. World Conference of Science Journalists, held in Doha, Qatar from June 27 to June 29, 2011.

Vice president Barbara Drillsma chaired a plenary session on the issues stemming from the new Nord Stream Pipeline across the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. The panel was produced by Vesa Niinikangas, Finnish Association of Science Editors and Journalists FASEJ, and explored environmental problems in the neighboring countries related to the project.

Old and new board members WFSJ

Members of the old and the new board of the World Federation of Science Journalists. First on the left Pallava Bagla, India, second on the left Vesa Niinikangas, Finland, second on the right Lucy Calderon, Guatemala.

One participant stated as an outcome of the session that European Science Journalists need to network much more and coordinate reporting on controversial topics. Furthermore, the project shows that it’s not enough to report on the facts of new technologies, but it’s also necessary to make the political and economic drivers, powers and beneficiaries behind them transparent.

The pipeline is one of the most modern of the world, employing techniques like automatically detecting leaks and a self defense system against terrorists. Russia and Germany bypassed Poland, Finland and Sweden and did not consult with them the impacts, panelists complained.

Another session „The Ethical Compass“ was hosted by both, EUSJA and the International Science Writers Association ISWA. It brought into focus ethical issues in science journalism such as its abuse by national socialists, communists and the US-american tobacco industry.

Participants of the panel, among them two new board members of the World Federation of Science Journalists WFSJ, Kathryn O’Hara from Canada, and Pallava Bagla from India, agreed to work on the draft of guidelines of good practices for science journalists.

EUSJA / FASEJ reception

EUSJA president Hajo Neubert addressing the guests at the EUSJA and FASEJ reception

EUSJA and FASEJ hosted a special lunch reception at the world conference. EUSJA president Hajo Neubert welcomed the guests and reminded them of the 40th anniversary of  the pan-european organization. It has become a leading force on the continent with more than 20 members and was  instrumental in founding the World Federation of Science Journalists.

Neubert congratulated the past EUSJA treasurer Vesa Niinikangas on a new commitment. He is the WFSJ president for the next two years and will organize the 8th World Conference of Science Journalist in Helsinki 2013.

Vesa's acceptance speect

Vesa Niinikangas' acceptance speech with the Finnish delegation at his right.

Vesa Niinikangas and the president of the Finnish association, Raili Leino, promised hard work to make WCSJ 2013 as successful as the past conferences. EUSJA representatives pledged their full support for this important European event.

Reception

Guests of the reception, among them many EUSJA representatives.

The WCSJ Helsinki 2013 program „Science Journalism critical questioning in the public sphere“ will highlight three distinct sections: Our Common/Values, Our Vulnerable World/What can we give each other and Our Exciting Work.

Photos © W. Goede.

About Wolfgang C. Goede

Wolfgang C. Goede is a science journalist based in Munich, Germany. He is a board member of the German Association of Science Writers TELI.