The fast pace of technological change means the way we work is evolving faster than ever.
Reporters are now often required to be fluent in multimedia, and editors encouraged to innovate and experiment with new software and hardware tools. Old media business models are continuing to be challenged as new ones emerge and are being tested. No one knows which of these experiments or technologies, if any, will eventually win out and become the new norm.
The largest gathering of science journalists in the UK, the UK Conference of Science Journalists, is taking place this October and is expected to attract up to 450 delegates.
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).
In 2016 the UKCSJ will become the European Conference of Science Journalists
In 2016 the European Science Open Forum will be held in the UK (Manchester). The first ever European Conference of Science Journalists was held in Copenhagen 2014 when ESOF took place in Denmark. As ESOF is in the UK in 2016 the ABSW is organising the 2016 European Conference of Science Journalists in conjunction with our European counterparts. The format will be similar to that of previous UKCSJs and as the programme develops more information will be posted here.
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 far smaller scale with the focus on the profession in the UK. For 2012 the ABSW increased capacity due to demand and the Conference can now accomodate 300 delegates. The UKCSJ runs on alternate years to fit with the alternate year programme of the World Conference of Science Journalists.
The ABSW would like to thank our supporters for UKCSJ14
The ABSW is delighted to announce that Elsevier are supporting the UKCSJ for a third year as our Lead Conference Partner. Speaking about the 2012 UKCSJ Harald Boersma, Director Corporate Relations, Elsevier said:
“You ran the event perfectly, once again, and it was just impressive to see how the event has grown even further, both in terms of the number of delegates and in terms of their level of engagement in the discussions.”
Also supporting in 2014, again for the third time, are the Royal Society and the British Psychological Society. The Wellcome Trust has supported the Conference previously and it's latest initiative Mosaic is supporting in 2014.