Conference Updates

A huge huge thank you

Friday, April 7, 2023

Thank you to all who attended last week’s WCSJ, Medellín, and to all of the partners and sponsors of the event. Four days of conversations about strengthening journalism through the exchange of ideas have left us enthused and exhausted. 

From the opening keynote on biodiversity which tackled the complexities of science journalism, to the closing plenary on food security, crisis and global risks, the topics were both diverse and focused. Attendees engagement and contributions brought the programme alive as much as the backdrop of birdsong.

The closing ceremony with local dancers was the perfect ending, with the opportunity to dance under the open skies and bid farewell to old and new friends. We hope to see you again soon. 

Ethics and science journalism

The results of a survey mapping the views of science journalists on science journalism in Latin America and the Caribbean were released during the Medellín conference. 

The report, Science Journalism In Latin America and the Caribbean 2022, probes ethical topics, such as the legitimacy of establishing the ethical priorities of science journalism, knowledge of professional associations and codes of ethics, and ethical protections and violations. The survey was conducted by the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) in partnership with the National Institute of Public Communication of Science and Technology in Brazil, with the support of The Kavli Foundation. 

Key findings include:

  • Most respondents say that there is a science journalism association in their country (73%), but only about half of them are unaware of the existence of a code of ethics (55%)

  • About one-third of respondents consider the main roles of a science journalist are to inform (32%) and to explain science (32%), with others that feel their role is to promote science (16%) or be a public watchdog (9%)

  • Three-quarters (75%) use the most prominent scientists in the field as sources and just over half (52%) seek to have gender balance

  • The majority think that scientific findings should not be reported as certainties (74%)

  • Most respondents agree that fraud (80%), retractions (72%) and errors (75%) should always be reported

  • Latin American science journalists are evenly divided on whether they can be neutral on the subjects they cover, with the proportion of those who do not believe in this neutrality being slightly higher (49%) than the proportion of those who believe in it

These responses prompted the WFSJ to probe further with an extended global survey, asking the same set of questions to science journalists globally. The results of this survey will be released in the coming months. The Federation is also working to develop a set of Guiding Principles of Science Journalism for the global science journalism community.

Some summaries of WCSJ 2023

We have found a couple of write ups by attendees that we wanted to share. 

Viviana Márquez says she was "swept of my feet by the captivating WCSJ held in Medellín, Colombia." She describes the workshops and sessions she attended and captures well the flavour and colour of the meeting. Read her article here

Christina Queiroz begins at the end, with a summary of the final plenary on food security before covering her highlights from the conference. Her report is here

Coming soon… 

The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University, through its Early Childhood Initiative, will host an online workshop on how to include the youngest children and their caregivers in our reporting. The workshop will provide journalists with a brief landscape of why early childhood is an important topic and tips on how to approach early childhood topics and how to include children's perspectives ethically in science-focused stories.

The workshop will be run by Irene Caselli, an international reporter who focuses on early childhood. Those who are interested can pre-register here (a maximum of 25 spots will be available). The online workshop will take place in May — exact dates are to be determined. 


If you didn’t get your fill of science journalism discussions, or to catch up on bits you missed, you can watch some of the sessions again. Recordings will be available soon and we will share the links when we have them. 

SciDev.Net and Elsevier, both partners of WCSJ 2023, hosted a panel event entitled "Growing research equity and representation: a dialogue with Latin American women researchers". Speakers included Latin American scientists Magaly Blas, Gabriela Montenegro and Carla Crespo Melgar, all winners of the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World. Watch here.  


The conference could not have taken place without the support of our partners. Thank you!