Thousands of science journalists gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland, this week for the 2019 World Conference of Science Journalists. The event brought together science journalists from across the world to discuss the state of science journalism as a profession, and new frontiers for science reporting.
Flavia Schlegel, the ISC Special Envoy for Science in Global Policy, spoke during a lunchtime panel event on ‘Championing science engagement and inclusivity for everyone, everywhere’ organized by Johnson & Johnson. Schlegel spoke alongside Natasha Loder, Health Policy Editor, The Economist; Mary Woolley, President of ResearchAmerica, and Thierry Zomahoun, Executive Director of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, on a panel moderated by Seema Kumar, Vice-President, Innovation, Global Health and Science Policy Communication, Johnson & Johnson.
The discussion started by asking whether trust in science has declined, with panelists going on to consider how new media have influenced debate, and the role of scientists — and of science journalists — in serving the wider public and acting as ‘Champions of Science’.
Flavia Schlegel highlighted the importance of creating an ‘ecosystem’ for the free and independent practice of science, in which scientists can thrive. The same kind of environment is also needed for free and independent journalism, said Schlegel, as “both are fundamental to democracy and development”.
Panellists agreed there was a need to transform science globally, to become more inclusive of diverse voices, and more accessible to the wider public.
The ISC works to champion science globally, and to work towards a world in which scientific knowledge, data and expertise are universally accessible and their benefits universally shared.
Follow all the debate from the conference on Twitter with #ChampionsofScience and #WCSJ2019.