3rd ECSJ Programme

Saturday 23 July - Timetable

09:30 - 09:55

Registration and Coffee

09:55 - 10:00

Welcome from Jens Degett, President EUSJA

10:00 - 11:00

Opening Plenary

Highway Robbery: Is Europe's independent science news being hijacked by vested interests?

11:10 - 12:10

Parallels One

Reporting on EU funded science 80 billion euro question

Open data

How to move into broadcasting and podcasting (two hour workshop - continues after lunch)

12:10 - 13:30


13:30 - 14:30

Parallels Two

Cross border investigative journalism: Resistant germs in Europe

Starting new publications

How to move into broadcasting and podcasting (two hour workshop - continued from the morning)

14:40 - 15:40

Parallels Three

Perfect pitch

The journalist's toolkit

Is science journalism dying? First aid to the patient

15:40 - 16:00


16:00 - 17:00

Closing Plenary

Outside the consensus: Working for media that are sceptical about climate change

17:00 - 17:05

Closing words from Martin Ince, President, ABSW

From close of conference

Coaches leave for ABSW Science Writers' Awards for Great Britain and Ireland and the bluedot festival at Jodrell Bank



Session details and speakers

Please note the Conference language is English (no translation services available)

Opening Plenary (contemporary issues in science journalism):

Highway robbery: Is Europe’s independent science news being hijacked by vested interests?

A recent trend across Europe is for science news to be provided by quasi-independent media, funded more or less directly by governments/scientific foundations about whose research they report. They are written/edited by journalists and packaged as journalism but they are not truly independent. In addition, commercial or vested interests are commissioning research with the primary aim of gaining media coverage that is favourable to their interests or products. Is independent science news in Europe being hijacked by these developments or are they providing new perspectives for the public?

Chair: Deborah Cohen, Editor BBC Radio Science Unit, UK


Pampa G Molina, former newspaper journalist now the editor of Spain's Agencia SINC (http://www.agenciasinc.es) funded by national scientific foundation

Slobodan Bubnjevic, newspaper journalist/editor and now editor of Serbia's Elementi website and print magazine (http://www.cpn.rs/elementi/?lang=en) run by the Center for Promotion of Science, founded and part-funded by the government - unfortunately due to visa issues Slobodan was unable to attend the Conference, his colleague Ivana Horvat, Executive Editor, Centre for the Promotion of Science spoke in his absence

Jane Gregory, Lecturer in Science Communication.University of Manchester, UK

David Miller, Professor of Sociology at the University of Bath

Produced by Mico Tatalovic, Environment News Editor, New Scientist. Vice-President ABSW

Closing Plenary (contemporary issues in science journalism):

Outside the consensus – working for media that are ‘sceptical’ about climate change

There is an extremely strong consensus between scientists in Europe and across the world that climate change is happening, is driven by man, and poses serious risks if it is not tackled. Yet in most European countries there are one or more newspapers or broadcast organisations that have an editorial line that is ‘sceptical’ of scientific consensus. Science writers and journalists for such organisations can be expected to report both the findings and views of the consensus scientific community, and of those individuals and organisations that reject the consensus. How should journalists and science writers manage such a task in a way that both satisfies their editors and promotes the public interest?

Chair: Steve Connor, former science editor The Independent, UK


Geoffrey Lean, former Daily Telegraph columnist and environment reporter, UK

Tim Radford, Freelance, Climate News Network, The Guardian, formerly science editor The Guardian, UK

Viola Egikova, science desk chief, Moscow daily newspaper, Russia

Louise Gray, writer and freelance environmental journalist, formerly environment correspondent, Daily Telegraph, UK

Ben Jackson, freelance, former environment editor The Sun, UK

Produced by Bob Ward, policy and communications director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. ABSW Board Member

Parallels One:

Reporting on EU funded science: 80 billion Euro question (contemporary issues in science journalism)

What will the results of the UK referendum on Europe mean for science funding and policy in Europe? Are science journalists objectively reporting on EU science policy or writing to promote the European Commission's research results. Should science journalism organisations apply for and take funding from EU programmes or does this create an inherent bias?

Chair: Inga Vesper, news editor SciDev.Net, formerly at Research Europe, London 


Sabine Louet, editor Euroscientist magazine, founder of SciencePOD, Dublin

Dino Trescher, journalist, Constart network, Berlin

Ehsan Masood, editor Research Professional News

Dominique J. Leglu, Editor-in-chief, SCIENCES et AVENIR, France

Produced by Mico Tatalovic, Environment News Editor New Scientist. Vice-President ABSW

Open Data (skills and professional development)

Discover sources of open data and how to work with it using techniques such as visualisation, scraping and mapping.

Chair: Martin Ince, Freelance Science Journalist. President ABSW


John Burn-Murdoch, Data Journalist, Financial Times, UK

Parallels Two:

Crossborder Investigative Journalism: Resistant Germs in Europe (contemporary issues in science journalism)

Antimicrobial resistance poses a significant threat to global public health. It is aggravated by misuse in antibiotics in the community, hospitals, and agriculture. Covering antibiotic resistance is at the intersection of investigative and science journalism: Exposing misuse needs an investigative approach, for example by investigating lacking hygiene and collecting data on infection numbers and prescription quantities in hospitals and agriculture. Evaluating the risk, putting it in perspective, and understanding methodology, on the other hand, require science journalism skills. CORRECTIV is organising an open, cross-border journalism network to investigate antibiotic resistance across Europe. The network aims to give support to individual members, transfer knowledge among participants, and enable collaboration on international scale.

Chair: Mico Tatalovic, Environment News Editor New Scientist, Vice-President ABSW


Hristio Boytchev CORRECTIV, Berlin, Germany (correctiv.org/superbugs)

Eva Belmonte, CIVIO, Madrid, Spain (http://medicamentalia.org/en/)

Starting new publications (skills and professional development)

What is involved in starting your own publication? What are the most common pitfalls? How do you find your unique selling point in a crowded market?

Chair: Oliver Lehmann, Chair of the Austrian Association of Science Journalists and organizer of the annual Vienna Ball of Sciences http://www.oliverlehmann.at/notizen/blurb-cv/


Deborah Blum, director of the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Publisher Undark

Sabine Louet, editor Euroscientist

Tom Zeller, founding editor Undark, formerly with the New York Times

Heather Doran, Project Officer Public Engagement with Research and co-founder of AU Magazine, student science publication at the University of Aberdeen

Giles Newton, Editor of Mosaic

Parallels Three:

Is science journalism dying? First aid to the patient (contemporary issues in science journalism)

This workshop is organized as a Conversation Salon where the participants are asked for their active involvement.

Life as a responsible science journalist is becoming increasingly difficult. There is less time to be critical and lower salaries to survive on and we have to steer through oceans of dubious information and research that may or may not be of relevance for the public.

The EU focuses on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) where the involvement of society should be integrated in all research processes. Journalists are seen as a bridge to involve society by reporting about science. But is it our responsibility as science journalists to be watchdogs over RRI? And how do we make ends meet while struggling with the challenges mentioned above?

In this interactive workshop, we want to involve the participants in developing tools and/or guidelines for how to commit to RRI. We hope to see both journalists and communication officers who work with science.

The workshop is funded by the EU project NUCLEUS and is managed by EUSJA.

Session organised and presented by: Berit Viuf and Gorm Palmgren, freelance journalists
Jean-Pierre Alix - Board member of Euroscience
Elisabetta Curzel - Freelance journalist, television and writing
Deborah Cohen - Editor BBC Radio Science Unit

Perfect Pitch (skills and professional development)

For a journalist being able to pitch your story is a key skill, find out the secrets to a really effective pitch in a live pitching session. Science journalists will pitch their science stories to a panel of science editors with the real possibility of getting commissioned. Facilitators will use the live pitches to identify the key ingredients of an effective science story pitch.

Chair: Deb Blum, director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 


Ehsan Masood, editor Research Professional News

Tom Zeller, founding editor Undark, formerly with the New York Times

Inga Vesper, news editor SciDev.Net

James Randerson, Assistant National News Editor, The Guardian

The Journalists Tool Kit (skills and professional development)

How do we actually carry out the process of reporting science, and what technology is available to make the job easier? Do you use shorthand, speedwriting, or type straight into a computer? Do you record or rely on your notes? What computer programs and apps are available to help to find stories and make reporting more efficient? Come and hear some masters of the craft and dedicated tech-heads on what gear they use.

Chair: Mico Tatalovic, Environment News Editor, New Scientist.  Vice-President, ABSW


Sabine Louet, editor Euroscientist

Natasha Loder, Health Care Correspondent, Economist

Corinne Podger, Mobile Journalism Trainer and Media Development Practitioner 

Special two hour workshop session (takes place during parallels one and two):

How to move into broadcasting & podcasting

A two hour training session, where you will learn the basics of audio journalism. Tips and tricks regarding field recording. Audio editing basics, using the Hindenburg Broadcaster. How to publish using the EBU loudness regulations for Broadcast and Podcast. 

Mr. Nick Dunkerley
Creative Director, Founder, Hindenburg Systems

With a background in sound engineering and radio journalism at DR (Danish National Broadcasting Corporation), Nick has more than 15 years' experience in public radio broadcasting. Before founding Hindenburg Systems, he worked as a consultant for community radio stations in Zambia. It was while working on a radio project there that he made the initial sketches for an audio editor. “I just need something simple that can be used by any storyteller ….. “

Evening Events:

Friday 22 July, 19:30-21:30. ESOF 2016 and European City of Science 2016 Media welcome.

Journalists visiting Manchester for ECSJ/ESOF/European City of Science 2016 are invited to join us in the Zeus Lounge at Cloud 23, The Hilton on Friday 22nd July to meet the Corridor Manchester partners. This is a great opportunity to find out more about the partnership, where you will be able to network with Corridor Manchester representatives, and those from the ABSW and EUSJA over a free drink and canapes*.

*Please note: Free drinks and canapes are limited, available on a first come first served basis only.

Corridor Manchester is an Innovation District south of Manchester City Centre. It is home to a number of world-renowned institutions including The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Manchester Science Partnerships, to name but a few.

If you wish to attend the reception on Friday 22 July you must register in advance through Eventbrite:


Saturday 23 July.  ABSW Science Writers Awards for Great Britain and Ireland and the bluedot Festival at Jodrell Bank

Awards ceremony for the 2016 ABSW Science Writers Awards for Great Britain and Ireland at Manchester Central followed by complimentary tickets to the bluedot festival at Jodrell Bank, where delegates will enjoy a reception with views overlooking the Lovell radio telescope before enjoying an evening of music by the likes of Jean Michele-Jarre and Air.  Complimentary coach travel will take delegates to and from Jodrell Bank, and will leave immediately after the ECSJ closes. There is no requirement to register for the Awards and all delegates at the ECSJ are invited. 

NB: There will be no time to return to your Hotel to change between the conference and coach travel to the ABSW Awards/bluedot festival.  The bluedot is a traditional music festival ie: outdoor stages/grass etc, so you may wish to ensure that you are dressed for both a daytime conference and music festival eg: comfortable shoes, warmer coat for later that evening.  There is no dress code for the Awards to enable delegates to be comfortable in all environments!