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About the WCSJ2022 theme

Everyone who uses a computer has an intimate appreciation of what it means to “reboot”. We re-start the system after new software has been installed. We abandon what we are doing because of some problem and re-start everything in hopes of correcting the problem. We allow this complex piece of technology to return to its original settings so that its operation can become more stable and efficient. For the computer, reboot means recovery and repair, and for the user, it means relief and reward.

If ever there were a time when science journalists needed some relief and reward, it is now. The global pandemic highlighted pre-existing challenges with misinformation and disinformation, which spawned a separate “infodemic” that still haunts us. The economic, social, and political rifts generated by COVID-19 also exposed threats to independent inquiry and free speech, not to mention further complications for media business models that have been steadily undermined since the World Wide Web appeared almost three decades ago. Amidst all of this has been the many members of the World Federation of Science Journalists, who have found themselves recruited as shock troops on reporting missions that in some cases had career-defining consequences.

As the WFSJ was swept up in this tide of events, which forced us to re-schedule our much-anticipated gathering in Medellin, the organizers realized that what was needed was nothing less than a reboot for our entire community. This major event, with a robust virtual component we could scarcely have imagined prior to the pandemic, will be our opportunity and above all your opportunity to mark a new starting point. We invite one and all to join us as we reinvent, rebuild, renew, and maybe — just maybe — relax.