Call for Session Proposals: World Conference of Science Journalists 2019 – Lausanne, Switzerland (Funding Available)
Deadline: May 31, 2018
Science journalists, submit your session proposals for WCSJ2019 in Lausanne! The next edition of the World Conference of Science Journalists will take place from 1 to 4 July 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland. This biannual conference is an important opportunity for journalists covering science to come together as a community of professionals sharing many values and goals, despite the great diversity of our profession – and of course to build and sustain this community.
Science journalists face many challenges: garnering attention for our stories from editors and audiences; mastering complex tools, both conceptual and practical; seeking elusive truths from sources promoting their own agendas… To rise to these challenges, we need to learn from each other. In Lausanne, they want to enable journalists to share and discuss experiences, best practice, and smart ideas, so that our profession becomes stronger.
With this in mind, the WCSJ2019 Programme Committee encourages science journalists from all over the world, or indeed anyone with an interest in improving the quality of science journalism, to make thoughtful session proposals that will help us build a rich, diverse, and timely conference that is relevant and useful for all of us.
Funding for Travel and Accommodation
Session producers are strongly encouraged to find independent funding to cover travel and accommodation costs for themselves and their moderators and speakers (note: the conference fee, covering the whole program plus all social events, will be waived).
In cases where such funding, fully or partially, cannot be secured, WCSJ2019 will cover travel and accommodation expenses (within the limits of its travel policy) for two to three nights in Lausanne for one producer as well as up to a maximum of 4 participants in the session. Once a session is accepted, specific funding needs will be discussed with the organizers.
- Open to science journalists from all over the world and anyone with an interest in improving the quality of science journalism
- Proposals can be submitted either in English or French, as the conference will have a small French-speaking track of one or two sessions per day.
- A typical session lasts 70 minutes and can take a variety of formats (see above) according to its content.
- Please bear in mind that proposing a session means agreeing to be the session “producer”, and therefore volunteering your time and energy to organize it. A producer can also act as moderator or speaker but this is not necessary.
They are especially interested in sessions that will:
- Explore topics and feature speakers relevant to investigative and critical science journalism. Our field may not have a strong tradition in investigative reporting, but it’s a skill we need more than ever, now that science is increasingly influenced by private and political interests, and research misconduct has become an important topic. We would like WCSJ to highlight important and inspiring investigative work.
- Provide space for topics and speakers from the global south. A vibrant science journalism community is growing in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, with specific interests and challenges. We want its voices to be heard in Lausanne.
- Use innovative formats. There are many ways to enable genuine participation and learning beyond traditional panel formats. Here are some examples to inspire you, but we’re open to other suggestions too:
- The moving debate in which neither debaters nor audience are seated, and participants are invited to move towards or away from the debaters as their opinions evolve;
- Challenge sessions – collective brainstorms organised around a challenge for journalism, for example, how journalists can avoid reporting flawed news, with recommendations being summed up in a plenary;
- House-of-commons debates that mimic the British parliament, the chair encourages all participants to join in and express strong and vocal opinions.
You can submit a proposal using Submittable. No other submission channel will be accepted. You will need to have the following information ready:
- Names, affiliations, and contact info of the producer(s);
- A summary (600 words maximum) of what the session is about and what the audience will learn;
- The format you intend to use;
- The names and affiliations of proposed speakers, moderators, trainers, et cetera.
For more information, visit World Conference of Science Journalists.