Welcome to WCSJ 2022
Like the beautiful game of soccer, science journalism is one of those rare human endeavours that readily transcends borders of all kinds, be they political, social, cultural, or economic. For just this reason it has always made sense for these practitioners to take their major gatherings from one part of the world to another. Local or regional representatives get a chance to show everyone else what they have to offer, and insights from everywhere else are shared alike.
It was in this spirit that the Board of Directors for the World Federation of Science Journalists was pleased to support the bid for this conference to be held in Medellin, Colombia. As a jewel of ecological diversity, this country has for centuries beckoned scientists who to this day continue to make discoveries in its wild landscapes. Not surprisingly, this rich biological heritage has nurtured a profound sense of environmental awareness and stewardship, which has led Colombians to embrace measures aimed at reducing the human footprint on the natural world and preserving this world for humanity as a whole. Astonishingly, this attitude thrived even as the country was regularly confronting the violence and disruption spawned by the international drug trade, a daunting battle that could well have left its people and its leaders too weary to care. Today these conflicts are quickly receding into the past as Colombia once again invites the world to admire both its natural and human wonders.
On behalf of WFSJ, I am delighted to accept that invitation and extend it to our entire community. Once again we are gathering to renew old acquaintances, make our collection of new friends, and find out what everyone has been doing. As a veteran of these conferences, I know that others like me have been eagerly anticipating this latest installment. For anyone keeping score, you will be right to point out that this conference was supposed to be held in 2021, but everyone who endured the pandemic of 2020 will know that we postponed our plans in the interest of public health and safety. There will be much to celebrate as global travel resumes and we want to celebrate it in Medellin. Old hands are more than ready and for the newcomers in the crowd, prepare to immerse yourself in a meeting of minds and a place that has dazzled the imagination since time immemorial.
- TIM LOUGHEED
WCSJ 2022 CONFERENCE DIRECTOR