World Federation of
Science Journalists

The 1st Kavli Symposium on the Future of Science Journalism

In February 2014 The World Federation of Science Journalists and The Kavli Foundation organised their first Symposium on the Future of Science Journalism. An international group of 50 leading science journalists and experts of 16 countries assembled in Oak Brook, Illinois to explore and discuss the future of science journalism. The goal of the symposium was to move forward a selection of issues important to this specific type of journalism. Three key themes were discussed: better defining science journalism, the international collaboration between science journalists and supporting science journalism.

Click here to download a PDF of the full report
For the summary report, click here.

Different working groups came up with recommendations for the chosen themes.

To better define science journalism recommendations were made to create a document on the skills and core values of science journalists. The document seeks to support a future generation of journalists in having clarity in their mission and to reflect the future prospects for the profession. In addition, the relationship between Science Media Centres and science journalists was discussed and how to help journalists to sell science journalism through a proactive marketing campaign.

The group focusing on the
international collaboration between science journalists recommended the creation of a pilot grant and fellowship program to facilitate this kind of collaboration between science journalists. It also suggested the creation of three services to help organize the international relationship between science journalists, such as resource lists, a peer-to-peer network to facilitate mentoring and local meetings that would help put people together and stimulate an international collaboration of a single topic. The creation of a training handbook for science journalists would help improve the skill of journalists in the reporting on international science stories. It should include guidelines on how to work with open data, how to fundraise for story production and how to collaborate across borders.

The discussions on
supporting science journalism led to recommendations to create a collaborative working document (white paper) on best practices in business models, the development of a field guide for science publishers/entrepreneurs and the creation of online resources on business tools for publishing science journalism. With the help of computer scientists and other partners a data mining tools, such as an intelligent story finder and a tracking tool to detect rising stars in science should be created, as wells as a science journalist journey tracker. These tools will help benefit journalists fully from innovative practices and existing business models

The 2nd Kavli Symposium on Science Journalism will look into the subject of Data Mining and will be held on February 16
th-18th, 2015 at San Jose in California. A first program for the symposium can be found here.