World Federation of Science Journalists

WFSJ in dialogue with S&T world leaders


October 9, 2007

(Kyoto - Japan) -- I’m pleased to say that within a few short years the World Federation of Science Journalists is now beginning to be recognised on the international stage at the highest levels.

For the first time we were asked to send a representative to the prestigious and influential fourth annual meeting of the Science and Technology in Society forum held annually in Kyoto. As the World Federation’s representative I was able to participate in discussions to form a statement by the Science and Technology community to be considered by World leaders at the 34th G8 summit in Tokyo, next year.

The World Federation was invited among 600 prominent figures from science, business, government and the media. These were all high level policy makers and opinion formers, including Prime Ministers, chief science advisors, heads of leading universities, and CEOs of leading companies. The organiser of the event, and former Japanese Finance Minister, Koji Omi’s vision for the meeting is the Science and Technology world’s equivalent of the World Economic Forum annual meting in Davos.

I contributed to discussions on the role of the media in Science and Technology Policy. Many of us argued that a more critical approach by science journalists would in the long lead to better policies. In my segment, I said that “The World Federation believes that science journalists should be first and foremost journalists”. I also said that to fully harness science and technology for the benefit of society it was essential to have an informed and constructively critical media.

I explained that with our mentoring schemes, our conference, and encouragement of member associations we, as a community of journalists, were taking responsibility for raising the standard of critical science reporting across the world. See http://www.wfsj.org/news/news.php?id=86

The World Federation has now begun to make its presence felt on the world stage. Mr. Omi said he hoped we would be able to attend the forum next year. The organiser of the Science and Technology segment of the World Economic Forum in 2009, Christian Zellner, has asked us to help with ideas from journalists in emerging and developing countries. We are also for the first time included in the sessions at the World Science Forum organised by the European Union and UNESCO in November this year, in Budapest.

As a fellow journalist, I share your feelings that these international forums can seem that they are more full of hot air than real policy initiatives. But they do slowly make a difference to the way in which the World develops. They inform the views of those able to make a real difference to nation and international policies.

It’s a measure of our success that we are now being asked to take our place alongside science and technology leaders and make our voice heard.

Pallab Ghosh, President WFSJ