Connecting Science and Journalism at the World Conference of Science Journalists

August 12, 2019

As developments in science and technology rapidly transform our world, and our understanding of it, it is crucial for the future of humanity that advancements in research receive quality and critical journalism.

The 11th World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ2019) brought together researchers and journalists from around the world to strengthen the professional, ethical and technical skills of science journalists. Through a series of keynote speakers, workshops, panel discussions, and sessions, journalists were able to navigate science and technology information, increase their science knowledge and improve their reporting and critical thinking skills.

swissnex San Francisco was thrilled to, once again, partner on the Swiss Science Lounge alongside the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, FNS, ETH-Board, swissnex network, EPFL, ETH-Zurich, University of Zurich, University of Geneva, University of Bern, University of Lausanne, University of Neuchâtel and University of Fribourg. The Lounge featured three days of pitches from scientists at Swiss institutions on sustainability, democracy and space research. A full program of the Swiss Science Lounge can be found here.

We talked to a few attendees at the Lounge to hear about their experience and reasons for attending the conference.

Igor Chlebny
Science Communicator, University of Neuchatel
Organizer of Science Cafés Neuchâtel

Reasons for attending the WCSJ: This conference fits the goals of both the university and Science Cafés to further develop and create a dialogue between scientists and the general public.

Main takeaways: As science communicators and journalists we are all facing the same problems, and these conferences allow science communicators, journalists and scientists to meet to figure out the best methods to educate the people in the latest scientific research.




Boris Vejdovsky
Associate Professor of English at the University of Lausanne

Reasons for attending the WCSJ: Premiere speaker at the Swiss Science Lounge. Professor Vejdovsky presented his research which discusses the role of humanities in science, and the nature of reality. He suggests that currently we’re experiencing the end of a long historical process from the 13-14th C, and today we are at the eve of a momentous change of our understanding of the world, something as important as the Renaissance.

Main takeaways: The conference is an excellent format to connect with scientists, researchers from various institutions and to meet science journalists to share our research.




3D Printed Ice-Skating Robot at WCSJ
Moritz Ceiliugar & Pol Banquet
ETH Zurich

Reasons for attending the WCSJ: to present their 3D Printed Ice-Skating Robot at WCSJ, which was shown at the World Economic Forum earlier this year in Davos.

Learn more about this self-learning skating-bot in this BBC video recorded at the WEF, featuring an interview with Professor Stelian Coros from ETH’s Computational Robotics Lab.






The Swiss Science Lounge is an initiative from the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, FNS, ETH-Board, swissnex network, EPFL, ETH-Zurich, University of Zurich, University of Geneva, University of Bern, University of Lausanne, University of Neuchâtel and University of Fribourg.

Photography by Perrine Huber / swissnex SF

The above interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity.