From 1 to 5 July 2019, JINR took part in the 11th World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ) in Lausanne. It is the largest event held once in two years that is one of the rare opportunities for specialists in the PR and outreach fields to discuss the latest tendencies and projects of the field.

This year, more than 1,000 delegates from 83 countries took part in the Conference.

In addition to numerous sessions and plenary meetings, the Conference provided an opportunity for large international institutes to demonstrate their projects and the latest achievements in science and technology. Thus, JINR in its turn presented information about the inauguration of the Superheavy Element Factory in the Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, progress in the construction of the NICA collider, the GVD neutrino telescope, and news about other large-scale projects of the Institute.

RIKEN, ITER, INFN, IAEA were also among the participants; the collaboration of PR specialists from international scientific centres Interactions.org, JINR has recently become a part of, also presented its exhibition stand.

“Science and technology continue to transform our modern world, impacting our lives from the way we work to the way we communicate to the way we are entertained. So it is crucial for the future of humanity that science and technology receive in-depth and critical journalistic coverage of the highest quality,” the official press-release of the Conference states.

The WCSJ2019 programme included keynote speakers, workshops, panel discussions, and sessions that will help journalists navigate science and technology information, increase their science knowledge and improve their reporting and critical thinking skills. Among the reporters, there were CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti, Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer, Director of the French National Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics Reynald Pain, Assistant to NASA Director Thomas Zurbuchen, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Hoesung Lee, Deputy Director-General for Programmes (DDP) in the World Health Organization Soumya Swaminathan, as well as Chemistry Nobel Prize Holder 2017 Jacques Dubochet.

The Conference was attended by world-famous science journalists such as Deborah Blum (Holder of the Pulitzer Prize, author of five popular science books one of which has become a New York Times bestseller and an object of an American documentary), Deborah Nelson (Pulitzer Prize holder, AAAS Kavli in the Reuters team, and the Prize of the National Academies of Sciences), and Elizabeth McGowan (Pulitzer Prize holder, a long-standing journalist in the fields of energy and environment for such journals as InsideClimate News, Energy Intelligence and Crain Communications). Moreover, numerous editors from social and political and specialized mass media took part in the Conference. Most of them participated in excursions to scientific institutes. The major academic partners of the Conference were the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the Federal School of Technology in Lausanne, the University of Lausanne, and the University of Geneva.

Such events are valuable as far as they provide an opportunity to establish and strengthen contacts between the scientific community and representatives of specialized mass media. Journalists from all over the world meet representatives of world-famous scientific institutes and corporations. They make arrangements for personal meetings, get plenty of information for future publications, and exchange contact information with hundreds of their colleagues. In their turn, scientific institutes at such events not only learn about the recent world tendencies in science journalism and initiate contacts with partners in the PR field but also increase recognition ratio among international journalists and thus highlight the importance of conducted research and discoveries.

Anastasia Suschevich

Social communication group, JINR University Centre