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The venue for the UKCSJ2018 will be the striking new building that houses the Francis Crick Institute, the biggest biomedical research facility in Europe that brings together over 1500 scientists and support staff under one roof.
The full-day event will take place on Tuesday 16th October 2018, with sponsorship from Eurekalert!, an online, global news service operated by the American Association for the Advance of Science.
UKCSJ2018 will have two streams: one focusing on burning issues in science media, the other providing essential skills required for science journalists. It is the only UK conference organised by science journalists for science journalists.
It follows on from almost of decade of successful similar events organised by the ABSW in London and Manchester, including a World and a European conference of science journalists, three previous UKCSJs, and two summer schools of science journalism.
“Full-day events focused on networking and building skills have become a major annual activity for the ABSW, alongside our awards – the ‘Oscars’ of science writing,” said Mico Tatalovic, Chair of the ABSW and Knight Science Journalism fellow at MIT. “With a strong governing board and active engagement of our members – many of whom generously volunteer their time to make these initiatives a success – we will make this the largest and best UKCSJ yet.”
“We are delighted to be partnering with EurekAlert!, which also supported our summer school last year,” said Tatalovic. “This new partnership has helped us secure the Francis Crick Institute as the conference venue: a brand new state-of-the-art building, with excellent transport links throughout the UK and Europe that can accommodate 450 science journalists, writers and broadcasters - more than any previous UKCSJ.”
Speaking about UKCSJ18, Brian Lin, Director of Editorial Content Strategy at EurekAlert! said: “EurekAlert! is proud to support UK science journalists who are striving to tell timely, accurate, and engaging stories, especially when so many of the global issues facing us today are deeply rooted in science. We hope the many discussions at UKCSJ18 will result in fresh ideas, new approaches, and even higher standards in science journalism that inspire far beyond the country’s borders.”
Pallab Ghosh, Honorary President of the ABSW and Science Correspondent at BBC News said: “For science to truly benefit society, it must be tested by critical science journalism of the highest professional standards. What people need more than ever before is for us to do our jobs as well as we can. Our job is to be independent, honest and unbiased, challenging the information we are given and reporting it clearly, accurately and to the very highest standards. The UKCSJ18 will provide skills, support, professional development and networking for us all to achieve these aims.”
This dedicated conference website www.ukcsj.org contains an archive of materials from all previous UKCSJs and will be the site for registration and programme information for UKCSJ18.
Association of British Science Writers (ABSW)
Founded in 1947, the ABSW has provided science journalists with networking, training, opportunities and jobs for over 70 years. We aim to promote the highest standards of journalism and writing by encouraging flair and bravery. We also hope to foster a mutually supportive community and to provide an environment for new ideas to develop and flourish. Through debates and events, our discussion group and our science writing awards, we help to create links between science writers, their subjects and markets. www.absw.org.uk
EurekAlert! (www.eurekalert.org) is a non-profit, editorially independent science news service operated by the American Association for the Advance of Science. It facilitates fair and equitable access to science news by working journalists and promotes broad communication of science to a worldwide audience. Nearly 14,000 reporters and freelancers from 93 countries are registered with EurekAlert! to use its free services, including a database of nearly 350,000 science-related news releases dating back to 1996. In addition to the UKCSJ, EurekAlert! has supported the WCSJ 2017’s travel fellowships, and its own EurekAlert! Fellowships for early-career science reporters from emerging economies since 2004 (www.eurekalert.org/fellows).
The UKCSJ - a full day of discussion and debate with three key aims:
To discuss and debate contemporary issues in science journalism
To encourage and provide skills for newcomers
To promote professional development
The first ever UKCSJ was held in 2010 and followed in the footsteps of the 2009 World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ) held in London. The WCSJ saw nearly 1000 delegates from all around the world meeting to discuss issues affecting the profession of science journalism. Demand for delegate places at the London Conference was high amongst UK science journalists and revealed a real desire for a forum in which professional issues could be discussed. To meet this demand the ABSW organised the UKCSJ - a WCSJ on a smaller scale with the focus on the profession in the UK.
The UKCSJ runs on alternate years to fit with the alternate year programme of the World Conference of Science Journalists. On the years there is no UKCSJ, the ABSW organises a smaller Summer School of Science Journalism focused on building skills for newcomers and freelancers, which attracted around 80 delegates in 2015, and 150 delegates in 2017.
For 2012 and 2014 the ABSW increased capacity of the UKCSJ due to demand and the conference can now accommodate 300 delegates.
In 2016 the UKCSJ became the European Conference of Science Journalists (ECSJ), and was held at the European Science Open Forum in Manchester, in partnership with EUSJA and ESOF.
The 2018 edition takes place on Tuesday 16 October at The Francis Crick Institute in London.