The next World Conference of Science journalists will be held in Cairo, Egypt, following a successful bid by Arab and American science journalism associations. The winners of the 2011 event - the Arab Science Journalists Association and the U.S.-based National Association of Science Writers – will bring the prestigious bi-annual conference to Cairo for the first time.
The decision, made by the Executive Board of the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ), was announced on Wednesday 1 July in London, where 900 science journalists and communicators from around the globe gathered. The London event was the 6th World Conference of Science Journalists and hosted by the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), which won the bid at the previous conference in Melbourne in 2007.
The Cairo group won against strong bids from the Finnish Association of Science Editors and Journalists (Helsinki), the Uganda Science Journalists Association (Kampala), and the Kenya-based association, Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (MESHA). All four bidders made a formal presentation before an audience of 50 delegates on Monday afternoon.
Pallab Ghosh, the outgoing president of the WFSJ, said the Executive Board was especially delighted that so many of the bids had come from Africa. “It was a difficult decision because all the bids were strong and each had their merits.
“However, the factor that distinguished the winning bid was the collaborative effort between the Arab and American associations. We are certain that this will be a fruitful collaboration and that it will lead to yet another successful conference for the Federation.”
The WFSJ, through its SjCOOP program, has been training and mentoring science journalists in Africa and the Middle East, and 60 took part in the initial program. One of the outcomes of the Federation’s work has been the twinning of science journalism associations, such as the Arab and American groups - which gave rise to the collaboration that led to this successful bid.
“It’s amazing that the Arab association was created in 2004 after the Montreal conference, and in five short years, they have won a bid to host a world conference,” added Ghosh. “It demonstrates the effect the Federation is having in strengthening and building science journalism associations around the world.“
For more questions contact Jean-Marc Fleury, executive director of the WFSJ at: