[Melbourne] The United Kingdom will host the next World Conference of Science Journalists in 2009, the World Federation of Science Journalists announced in Melbourne, Australia today (18 April).
Conference organisers hope it will be the biggest yet, bringing together over 650 journalists from all over the world.
The conference bid was put forward by the Association of British Science Writers, the UK-based International Institute for Environmental Development, the journal Nature and SciDev.Net.
The proposed programme will feature key scientific issues such as climate change, biodiversity, the environment and disease, and the conference team plans to organise tours of scientific research centres in the United Kingdom and Europe.
Special focus will be given to increasing the representation of journalists and scientists from developing countries in Africa, Asia the Middle East and South America, with plans to raise funds for travel and accommodation.
Julie Clayton, conference director and SciDev.Net consultant, said, "We shall have the best of the UK's science media exchanging ideas with science journalists from around the world, plus top scientific research for them to report on. We hope to see as many delegates as possible from developing countries."
Diran Onifade, African regional coordinator for the World Federation of Science Journalists Peer to Peer Mentoring programme, said, "London, being the capital of the Commonwealth and a universal city, brings the World Conference of Science Journalists closer to most of the world like never before."
"I am sure the [conference] in London will command an unprecedented interest among science journalists in Africa."President of the Association of British Science Writers Ted Nield said, "It's a great opportunity to welcome the world of science journalism back to the home of the profession."
"Our aim is to build on the tremendous success of previous meetings and to work with our colleagues in the UK and internationally to create a conference that will continue to promote the highest standards of science journalism across the world," said Pallab Ghosh, BBC journalist and President of the World Federation of Science Journalists.