Symposium on the Future of Science Journalism

Kavli Symposium on the Future of Science Journalism
(World Federation of Science Journalists/The Kavli Foundation)

17-19 February 2014, The Hyatt Lodge, Oak Brook, IL

The Kavli Symposium on the Future of Science Journalism — organized and led by the World Federation of Science Journalists — will bring together an international group of leading science journalists and specialists to explore the future of science journalism. The organizing committee has identified the following topics to launch this dialogue, which will take place collectively and in breakout sessions that encourage the free exchange of new thinking, ideas and possible collaborations. (Limited in size, this symposium is closed to invited participants.)

Defining Science Journalism

It is becoming increasingly important for science journalism to better define and distinguish itself in the midst of a growing array of information sources. This is also a growing need with the increase in direct science communication from scientists and scientific institutions, as well as industry and other sources, which may not employ the standards of the field or serve conflicting interests. The symposium will focus on this issue, as well as how science journalism itself may be impacted by efforts to provide centralized sources of scientific information, such as the national ‘science media centers’ either established or being developed in several countries. Among the questions: How does science journalism more effectively distinguish itself from other sources of information? What role, if any, should science journalists have with these national science media centers?

International Collaboration in Science Journalism

There are areas of the world where coverage of science issues is more difficult, yet coverage is critical not only locally but to the international community. Looking forward, science journalism needs to consider how it can more effectively cover some of the key issues in the field, such as clinical trials that have moved to developing countries. It should also consider how it can collaboratively cover these issues, as well as discern ways that established science journalists and media can collectively improve their support of local science journalism in developing nations. Among the questions: When it comes to covering issues and supporting the development of the field, what are the areas where collaboration can supersede competition?

Supporting Science Journalism

There are new, innovate practices and media business models available to science journalism, but there remains a need to discuss how science journalism can benefit from these practices. Science journalism needs to identify the innovative practices and business models that can strengthen the field, as well as the ways to support their use and development for common benefit? It must also consider what tools exist or should be developed to help the field? For example, are there new ways for science journalists to mine and process the increasing amounts of data being accumulated on individuals and societies? How can new technologies and software be integrated in the tool kit of science journalists? Science journalism must also consider how new, alternative sources of funding such as crowd-funding might impact the field.

Topics for this symposium have been chosen by the organizing committee under the supervision of the World Federation of Science Journalists.

Organizing Committee

  • Mariette DiChristina
    Scientific American

  • Dan Fagin
    Science, Health and Environmental
    Reporting Program
    New York University

  • Jean-Marc Fleury*
    Senior Advisor
    World Federation of Science Journalists

  • Pallab Ghosh
    Science Correspondent

  • Phil Hilts
    Knight Science Journalism Program
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Robert Lee Hotz
    Science Editor
    Wall Street Journal

  • Rosie Mestel
    Chief News Editor

  • Ivan Oransky
    Global Editorial Director
    MedPage Today

  • Ginger Pinholster
    Director, Office of Public Programs
    American Association for the
    Advancement of Science

  • Volker Stollorz
    Frankfurter Allgemeine (Germany)


Participants (Confirmed)

  • Osama Abu Rub
    Medical Editor
    Al Jazeera (Qatar)

  • Julia Belluz
    Health Reporter
    McLean's/The Medical Post (Canada)

  • Daniel Berger
    Web Developer/News Producer

  • Mar Cabra**
    Investigative Journalist
    International Consortium of Investigative
    Journalists (Spain)

  • Geoffrey Carr
    Science Editor
    The Economist (United Kingdom)

  • Damien Chalaud
    Executive Director
    World Federation of Science Journalists

  • Clive Cookson
    Science Editor
    The Financial Times (United Kingdom)

  • Bobbie Johnson
    Founder and publisher

  • Dan M. Kahan**
    Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law
    Yale University

  • Joost van Kasteren
    Freelance Journalist
    The Netherlands

  • Chul Joong Kim
    Journalist, Chosun Ilbo (South Korea)
    President, WFSJ

  • Manuel Lino
    El Economista (Mexico City)

  • Esther Nakkazi

  • Violet Otindo
    K24-TV (Kenya)

  • Penny Park
    Science Media Centre (Canada)

  • Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland**
    MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program

  • Nikki Philips
    Science Editor
    Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

  • Debbie Ponchner
    Science Editor
    La Nacion (Costa Rica)

  • Meghna Sachdey
    Social Media Strategist

  • David Sassoon**
    Founder & Publisher
    InsideClimate News

  • David Secko
    Associate Professor
    Concordia University (Canada)

  • Ivan Semeniuk
    Science Reporter
    Globe and Mail (Canada)

  • Jae-Eok Shim
    Investigative Journalist
    International Consortium of Investigative
    Journalists (Spain)

  • Mariko Takahashi
    Science Journalist
    Asahi Shimbun (Japan)

  • Yunanto Utomo
    Science Online Editor
    Kompas (Indonesia)

  • Erik Vance
    Science Writer

  • Ron Winslow
    Deputy Editor, Health and Science
    Wall Street Journal

  • Mohammed Yahia
    Nature Middle East


In Attendance (Confirmed)

  • Genny Biggs
    Communications Officer
    Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

  • Kathryn Brown
    Head of Communications
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute

  • Judith Gan
    Office of Legislative & Public Affairs     
    National Science Foundation

  • Angela Prokopiak
    Director, Communications and
    Parliamentary Relations
    International Development Research
    Centre (Canada)

  • Marilyn Simons
    Simons Foundation









*WFSJ program leader for the Kavli symposium

**Presenters and speakers