The EUSJA general assembly 2014 brought a record-high number of delegates and observers to Vienna. More than 30 science journalists participated, among them three former presidents. This year’s agenda called for major elections which entailed a discussion about the future direction of the European science journalists.
The two candidates who ran for president actually did not differ very much in their views and visions, as delegates remarked. Both, Joost van Kasteren, president of the Netherland’s Science Journalists VWN, and Satu Lipponen, president of the Finnish Association of Science Editors and Journalists FASEJ and president of the 8th World Conference of Science Journalists 2013, emphasized the need of high quality science journalism, transparency and governance. Satu won with 12 votes whereas Joost received 8.
The incumbent vice-president Viola Egikova, president of the Russian Association of Science Writers and Journalists INTELLECT was contested by Fabio Turone, president of the Science Writers in Italy SWIM. Viola defended her position with 14 against 5 votes. There were also two applicants for the position of the Honorary Secretary. Connie St Louis, former president of the Association of British Science Writers ABSW, challenged the incumbent office holder Wolfgang C. Goede, vice chairman of the German Association of Science Writers TELI. The latter won with 12 votes against 7.
Outgoing president Barbie Drillsma was appointed by acclamation EUSJA President Emeritus. EUSJA Treasurer Priit Ennet, president of the Estonian Association of Science Journalists, still completes his two year term. Menelaos Sotiriou, Secretary General of Greek Science View, was co-opted again as an associate board member responsible for the EUSJA participation in EU projects.
The assembly was embedded in a two day study trip to research institutions in Lower Austria and Vienna, organized by Oliver Lehmann, chairman of Austria’s “Klub der Bildungs- und Wissenschaftsjournalisten”. It included a presentation of historians who investigate the role and participation of Austrian scientists in the holocaust. The excursion ended with a tour of the Natural History Museum and a dinner serving Wiener Schnitzel under the skeletons of dinosaurs.
The EUSJA assembly 2014 accepted the Norwegian Science Journalists Association NFFJ as its 25th member. Under the direction of EUSJA’s new president and Jens Degett, head of the Danish science journalists, the 1st European Science Journalists’ Conference is scheduled for June 22nd in Copenhagen as part of ESOF 2014. Prominent representatives of the profession, research and communication will address a scope of issues. It is the goal to establish this event on a biennial basis as an ongoing platform of debate and exchange.
Apart from this, Satu Lipponen wants to add to ESOF Copenhagen a special EUSJA Strategy Day. EUSJA members develop under the guidance of a professional moderator future concepts for their collaboration and involvement as well as a critical assessment of their activities. This could consolidate science journalism, “renew partnerships across Europe and open future options”, says the new EUSJA president.
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Final President’s Report GA 2014 Vienna
Report for Vienna GA — edited as asked for at the GA