Aug 29

Congrats to the five new members of the board of WFSJ

Tim Lougheed, from Canada

Congratulations to Milica Momcilovic, Ochieng Ogodo, Mandi Smallhorne and Federico Kukso for being elected in the newly enlarged board of the World Federation of Science Journalists, along with Tim Lougheed who was named by the two Canadian association in accordance to the statute of the Montréal-based non-profit group.

The profiles of the new board members – who will start their term at the World Conference taking place in San Francisco next October – are available with all the details of the election process on the website of the World Federation of Science Journalists.

Milica Momcilovic (Balkans), Ochieng Ogodo (Kenya), Mandi Smallhorne (South Africa) and Federico Kukso (Argentina).

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Jul 03

Switzerland, France and Italy join forces to host the 2019 World Conference

The national science journalists’ associations of Switzerland, France and Italy announced their joint proposal for hosting the World Conference of Science Journalists, WCSJ, on 1 – 5 July 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

«Our utmost priority is to bring together professionals and students in science journalism and writing from all over the world in order to exchange ideas and skills, to build networks and hence to foster quality science journalism and collaborations on a global scale» the Presidents of SASJ, AJSPI and SWIM announce in the newly launched website «It’s exactly this collaborative approach which distinguishes our region. Particularly in Lausanne, with France just a short boat ride away and Italy not far beyond, cultures and languages meet, ideas are exchanged, and people of all backgrounds work, play and make plans for a brighter future together».

The proposal is being finalised, and includes – in addition to the a rich programme in Lausanne and Geneva around the theme of the mountain – a long list of post-conference trips all around Europe, including France, Italy, Germany and Russia. The organisers also opened a Facebook page ( to receive feedback and suggestions from science journalists from all over the world.

CERN, the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne and the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva are the main academic sponsors.

The World Conference organised biannually by the World Federation of Science Journalists brings together science journalists and communicators from all over the world to learn from each other and share best practices across their discipline internationally. Since the first WCSJ, staged in Tokyo 1992, the conference developed into a core pillar for the advancement of international science journalism.

The next WCSJ will be held from 26th to 30th October 2017 in San Francisco.

The conference programme reflects current issues affecting the profession of science journalism, including new journalistic technologies and approaches, developments in the media, science and industry landscapes as well as trends in storytelling and reporting. By advancing the worldwide community‘s professional skills, the conference ensures that science issues are intelligently communicated to society as a whole.

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Jul 04

Cancer World awards excellence in reporting on Cancer

The International oncology magazine Cancer World, published by the European School of Oncology, has just announced two initiatives to promote high-quality journalism on such a delicate and complex issue as cancer: up to 12 travel grants to attend a relevant conference in Amsterdam, and four journalism awards.

Theawards will go to «outstanding pieces of journalism published in 2015 and 2016 that are changing the way we think about cancer».

Journalists are invited to submit one or more items of their work – whether in print, online, on radio, video or television – into the following categories:

  • Patient and carer experience
  • Research, science and treatment
  • Policy, services and affordability
  • Prevention


A prize of €1500 is available in each category. The journalist judged the overall winner will also be funded to attend the ECCO Congress in Amsterdam (27-30 January 2017), where he/she will be presented with their award and take part in the Cancer World journalists’ professional development programme.

Applications are now open and can be made online

The closing date for entries for the Cancer World Journalism Award is 31st October 2016.




Cancer World and ESO also invite selected journalists to attennd European Cancer Congress (ECCO2017) will take place in Amsterdam, from 27-30 January 2017, with the theme “From evidence to practice in multidisciplinary cancer care”

«This is an opportunity to meet some of the leading thinkers and clinicians in cancer treatment and care across Europe, to make contacts, hone skills and gather some great story ideas. This is a very practical congress focused on issues of greatest concern to patients and professionals and should be of great help to any journalist interested in reporting on cancer – which remains a challenge for good journalism.

«The congress will address a number of important issues for the future of cancer care in Europe. As a multidisciplinary congress it brings together doctors, nurses, psychologists, patient advocates, policy makers and industry. The main focus will be a critical evaluation of new and recently presented clinical research data, and whether it will change clinical practice. It will look in particular at the evidence from Phase III trials and review clinical benefits and costs. There will be a focus on immunotherapy and personalised medicine, policy issues, evolving health care systems and disparities in cancer care.

The deadline for applying for the travel grants to attend the Amsterdam ECCO Conference is 11 November 2016.

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Apr 19

Fellowships to attend Falling Walls in Berlin (Nov 8 and 9, 2016)

The Falling Walls Foundation has just announced the availability of several fellowships for journalists – that cover travel, accommodation and ticket costs – to attend the Falling Walls Conference, the international conference on future breakthroughs in science and society, that will take place on 8 and 9 November 2016, as usual in Berlin, Germany. 

The fellowships are aimed at journalists and bloggers with at least three years of experience, and who hope to advance their knowledge in the area of sciences.

Further information is available online at

The deadline is 31 July 2016.



The Falling Walls Conference was initiated on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall and takes place every year on 9 November. On one day, 20 world-class researchers from all disciplines and parts of the world each showcase the breakthroughs they are working on in 15-minute talks. Among the speakers are Nobel laureates, artists, heads of states and governments. The conference attracts an audience from over 80 nations and is covered by the media globally. Learn more at

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Jan 21

The Erice science journalism school is offering 35 fellowships for the 2016 course

The Erice International School of Science Journalism based in Erice, Sicily (Italy) announces 30 fellowships for applicants from European countries (covering travel, accomodation and fee) and 5 fellowships for applicants from non-European countries (covering accomodation and fee, but not travel) to attend the 2016 edition (June 25th – 30th, 2016) focused on “The Fundamental Science: from cutting-edge technologies to the heart of society”.

erice-science journalism-2016

The fellowships are aimed at science journalists, science communicators and students in science journalism and communication.

The selection requires:

For science journalists: at least three years of professional experience working/freelancing for general or popular science media;
For science communicators: at least three years of professional experience working in a scientific organization, science museum or science centre or as a freelancer in a position of press officer, curator, editor of (web) publications, organizer of outreach activities or similar;
For students: being a student in a master programme in science journalism or science communication.

The deadline for application is March 10th, 2016.

For more info:

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Jan 06

Apply for the 2016 Metcalf Workshop for Journalists on Global Change in Coastal Ecosystems

The Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting at University of Rhode Island in Narragansett has opened the call for ten fellowships to attend the 18th Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists: Global Change in Coastal Ecosystems. The workshop will be held from June 5 to 10, 2016.

Tten early- to mid-career journalists will be selected for the fellowship, which includes tuition, travel support, room and board.

Schermata 2016-01-06 alle 21.26.10

The workshop gives journalists opportunities to explore and understand the effects of human activities on coastal ecosystems. The 2016 Metcalf Fellows will:

  • Gain skills and confidence to translate scientific publications for public audiences;
  • Develop a greater familiarity with research methods and basic statistics;
  • Explore the development and use of sea level rise models for projecting impacts and responses;
  • Measure emerging aquatic contaminants, potentially harmful chemicals not currently monitored or regulated;
  • Conduct a fisheries survey aboard the URI research vessel;
  • Discuss the relationships between climate change and extreme weather;
  • Enjoy off-deadline interactions with scientists and cultivate contacts for future reporting.


The deadline to apply is February 5, 2016.

See the website of the Metcalfe Institute for info about eligibility and to apply.


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Dec 03

AACR launches the June L. Biedler Prize for Cancer Journalism

June L. Biedler, PhD

June L. Biedler

The American Association for Cancer Research is accepting applications for the newly launched Prize for Cancer Journalism «named in honor of June L. Biedler, PhD, a visionary cancer scientist and mentor who was dedicated to furthering science and health care communications. […] to raise awareness of the critical role that the media play in educating the public about cancer and cancer research. The AACR Biedler Prize has been established to showcase outstanding examples of cancer journalism, and to recognize individual professional journalists who have produced accurate, informative, and compelling stories.

«The Prize will provide an unrestricted cash award of $5,000, a commemorative plaque, and travel expenses to the AACR Annual Meeting, April 16-20, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana to receive the Prize.

«The AACR Biedler Prize is open to print, broadcast, and online professional journalists whose stories appear in newspapers, magazines, websites, television, and radio that target a lay public audience. There is no entry fee. Trade publications are not eligible.»

Deadline for Submission is January 11, 2016, Cash Prize is $5,000 (for each of six categories)


The judging panel will evaluate each entry on the following criteria:

  • Outstanding ability to educate the public about cancer, cancer research, or policy;
  • Effective and accurate translation of cancer science;
  • Significance and timeliness of the subject;
  • Creativity and novelty of the reporting; and,
  • Clarity, precision, and elegance of the language used.
  • Selection of the winners will be based on the candidate’s accomplishments with no regard given to race, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, geographic location, or religious or political views.

For more information or to submit a story to be considered for the AACR June L. Biedler Prize for Cancer Journalism, go to

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Nov 19

Appy for a Nieman fellowship at Harvard

Schermata 2015-11-19 alle 22.07.39Approximately 24 journalists from around the world will be selected to spend the 2016-2017 academic year at Harvard University, where they will audit classes with some of the university’s greatest thinkers, participate in Nieman programming and collaborate with peers.

During their time at Harvard, Nieman Fellows attend seminars, shop talks, master classes and journalism conferences designed to strengthen their professional skills and leadership capabilities. With the knowledge they gain on campus and the relationships they build, fellows often return to work as journalism entrepreneurs, industry innovators and top managers in their newsrooms.

International journalists: Dec. 1, 2015
U.S. journalists (U.S. citizens): Jan. 31, 2016

For more information about the program and how to apply, visit

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Nov 02

Apply for a EGU fellowship to cover geosciences (up to 5k euro)

The European Geosciences Union (EGU) is inviting proposals from professional, active journalists to report on ongoing research within the Earth, planetary and space sciences.Schermata 2015-11-02 alle 17.00.29

Competitive proposals will (1) focus on a topic in the geosciences (including planetary and space sciences) with potential broad public appeal, (2) preferably feature leading Europe-based researchers, and (3) outline an original, well-informed approach to the subject.

The EGU may award a single or multiple fellowships, with a total of up to €5000 allocated between the selected candidates to cover expenses related to their proposals. Winner(s) will receive part of the award in advance and part upon successful completion of their project(s). If required, they will also receive assistance in liaising with scientists.

We strongly encourage applicants to submit proposals to report on new and exciting research areas that the wider public may be less familiar with. In addition, the judges may favour applications with smaller budgets, which allow more than one proposal to be awarded.

The full announcement, including information on how to apply, is available on the EGU website, with details about last year’s winning proposals is available online

The deadline for application is December 6th, 2015

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Sep 24

Science journalists as “backup peer-reviewers” of science? Dessibourg’s analysis on “Le Temps”

Olivier Dessibourg analyses on “Le Temps”  four cases (three very recent and one in 2014) that gave science journalists a “new role”: to do an in-depth post-publication “peer-review” in situations in which the “official” peer-reviewers didn’t completely fulfill their role.

Schermata 2015-09-24 alle 07.07.13Pour faire connaître leurs dernières découvertes, certains chercheurs n’hésitent pas à court-circuiter le système de révision par les pairs (le «peer-review») en sollicitant d’abord les médias. Une façon d’inverser le processus habituel de validation qui leur permet de gagner immédiatement en notoriété. Sans filet et dans l’urgence, les journalistes sont ainsi de appelés de plus en plus à jouer le rôle de «peer-reviewers»

«L’être humain a un nouveau cousin: Homo naledi». «Première spermatogénèse in vitro » «Premier test validé cliniquement, qui identifie les femmes à risque de développer une thrombose sous contraception orale». «Première preuve directe de l’inflation cosmique après le Big Bang».

Qu’ont en commun ces quatre nouvelles, qui ont récemment fait autant de gros titres dans la presse? Elles ont suscité un emballement médiatique avant que, quelques temps plus tard, une analyse détaillée n’en révèle des aspects plus discutables voire critiquables. Le nouvel hominidé, d’abord, ne pouvait être daté et sa parenté avec Homo sapiens s’est avérée loin d’être évidente, si bien que les conclusions de cette enquête archéologique ont été remises en question. La méthode pour fabriquer les spermatozoïdes en éprouvette, elle, n’a pas encore été publiée dans une revue scientifique, faisant douter certains experts. Idem pour le test génétique des thromboses, dont les données restent pour l’heure propriété de la start-up qui l’a développé. Schermata 2015-09-24 alle 07.11.48Pareil enfin pour l’histoire de la signature du Big Bang, où la publication des résultats restait pendante.

Dans chacune de ces quatre situations pourtant, les scientifiques ont sollicité les médias, parfois massivement. Pour quelles raisons?

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