Research and Media Network

Bringing people together to improve communication of research findings

This network was set up at the 5th WCSJ in Melbourne in April 2007. The next conference will be in London in 2009. I am working with the London conference team so would like to use this space to get suggestions of what the conference should include. All ideas are welcome.

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Good luck with preperations Mike.

I would like to point out one thing that would be important to many people I think. I would appreciate if there was a stronger focus on training sessions. During the 5th WCSJ, there were some excellent sessions, but we had to rush through them due to time restraints

If there would be more focus on these training workshops in the 2009 London conference, I think it would be benificial for many people. Everyone needs to improve their skills no matter how good they are :)
I agree with Mohammed. I want to suggest the same thing. If there could be a full series of workshops on a variety of topics this would be wonderful. So, for example, there could be one particular workshop on one topic that went from 9 - 11am for every day of the conference, and another workshop on another topic from 12 - 2, etc. That way, I could attend probably something like four different workshops during the whole conference. And these workshops aren't just one-session workshops this way. They last for about four days each and in those four days I have the opportunity to attend more than one workshop.

Basically this means that the organizers don't think in terms of 2-hour sessions only. They also think in terms of several four-day workshops. 2-hour sessions are all right, but the amount of benefit from them is limited.
As someone who does editing as much as journalism, I'd like to see some editing workshops incorporated, like those on the first day of WCSJ 2007. I don't think there's any harm in including them in the 'main' conference, given there were several communications/PR/media training sessions incorporated in the main conference this time.

I really liked Kim Griggs' session for freelancers - more of that would be great too.
It would be nice to have experts tell us from the South about how climate change is affecting the British Isles. The Gulf Stream always kept the British isles and the shores of the UK navigable --even in winter. It contributed to making Great Britain a maritime power, and shored up its economy. One would like to know what the changes we are seeing everywhere will augur for UK
Hi Mike,

Perhaps 6th WCSJ should have more time for the science journalists from developing countries. In fact, I am preparing an outline of what I consider 6th WCSJ should - or may - offer the science journalists from the developing countries.

It will take another twenty days.

Till then,
I would like to learn from others having actually analysed 'newspaper clippings, reporting on science: achievements, etc', and to have them discussed from different angles, not the least the ethical issues.
Hi Mike, just wanna share some views that I have just figured out.Probably, when the issues are picked up and presented at the conference, there should be the balanced views between the developed and the developing world. I mean, for one particular issue, the presentation should reflect how the developed journalists, experts, or whoever look at it, as much as how the developing journalists, and, well, whoever from their side, look at it too.This may possibly help us learn how the different two worlds view the same issue, and thus we might be better deal with it in our own territories. I have realised this when covering the climate change conference in Bangkok recently, where there were far different views toward this same issue. For the training sessions, it would be nice if they are packed up systematically, and available for all. (It's quite exausted to compete with others in order to secure the seats during the 5th con., frankly said, despite the good intention of the organisors.) This is my first try to use this network. Hope it works:) Cheers!
Yes please to the suggestions from Liz and Cobi! It seems so strange to me that we aren't already making conferences globally accessible with technology being the way it is. Also, I'd love to see a lot more interactivity built in to sessions - or perhaps themed sessions that are facilitated (rather than lectures). There is often so much talent and insight in a room that doesn't get tapped into in real time which seems so wasteful when many of us are time poor and rarely have the opportunity to spend real time with experienced peers...
Have you thought about making the conference more accessible to people unable to attend in person or adding 'remote' people to the conference? Certain conference sessions could be broadcast live over the internet. Other sessions could link to experts/presenters/contributors located around the globe. Training sessions could be run at the conference face to face and, webcast to global audiences then archived for later and repeated viewing. The technology exists, is easy to use, streams live audio, video, presentation materials, shares applications, has the ability to connect 100's, even 1000's of people together in real time, can be edited and archived, etc. Internet connections needed are not high end, ie works on dial up. For people/countries with difficulty accessing internet connections the archived events/sessions can easily be burnt as CD's/video for distribution. It's simple to set up, I've done it many times, and is very cost effective. I'd be happy to discuss further if useful, maybe do a quick demonstration with people across several continents.
I agree with Liz - I think it's essential we make it more accessible to people unable to attend in person. I would like to see live streams, a more active and accessible blogging mechanism, and a podcast series pulling out some particularly interesting aspects of the conference, to disseminate publicly. I'm very happy to be involved in making this happen.
Sessions on professional journalism and rural journalism,
Linkage between grass root level programmes and functionaries (directly connected to people)
and the media interventions on the problems and solutions
Misuse of media and damages
Electronic media utilisation by the rural journalists
Hi Mike,
Have you seen "A guide to Modern Science," edited by Wilson Da Silva? It is a marvelous book, especially for the working journalists in the developing countries. It has collected more than 70 key issues of modern science, under 12 or so categories. Though the chapters are not very long but they cover the most important aspects of each issue. Following the similar track, London conference may also offer a collection of 100 or so key issues in modern science - coupled with helpful websites for journalists. Believe me, it is going a great thing because - besides providing background information regarding key issues, it will also help ordinary people to appreciate the challenges (or expectations) of contemporary science.

As long as the developing countries are not going to have appropriate courses on science journalism, such publications shall prove of great help for the working science journalists in these countries. Just give it a thought.

Aleem Ahmed



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