World Conference for science journalists kicks off in Doha

More than 600 science journalists, researchers and academics would engage in discussions on a range of critical topics in science writing at the World Conference of Science Journalists 2011 (WCSJ2011) this week.

The conference, which will run from June 27 to June 30, is being hosted by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and organised by the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) and Science Associations from the Arab world and the Americas.

Delegates from more than 75 countries will discuss the most pressing issues facing science reporting in the Middle East and the world at large in the areas of science, technology, health and environment.

Participants would have the opportunity to witness the advances that Qatar is making in the core platforms of medicine, biotechnology, information and communication technology, environmental sciences, molecular sciences and nanotechnology.

Dr. Rabi Mohtar, Executive Director of Qatar Foundation’s Qatar Energy and Environment Research Institute, told the Ghana News Agency in Doha that “Accurate and effective journalism is just as important as scientific research in addressing the pressing environmental challenges that face our region.”

He said often lack of public awareness of proper conservation of water, energy, and food resources could compound already difficult issues such as natural resource scarcity and management.

“We hope that by holding this conference in Qatar, science journalists in the region will be better equipped to fill this informational gap and help in disseminating scientifically-based conservation practices.”

Ms Nadia El-Awady, President of the World Federation of Science Journalists, said “For the first time, the WFSJ has made in-roads into the Arab region, a culmination of years of hard work by the Arab Science Journalists Association to promote professionalism in reporting on science among Arab journalists.”

The 2011 conference was originally scheduled to take place in Cairo but WCSJ2011 organizers made the decision to relocate the conference following political upheaval in Egypt that culminated in the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.

“This conference is a great opportunity for writers and science journalists from all over the world and in particular from the Arab world, to develop the skills necessary to address the various significant scientific issues that face us in the modern age,” said Nehal Lasheen, President of the Arab Science Journalists Association.

Source: GNA

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