Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development announced today that the World Conference of Science Journalists 2011 (WCSJ2011) will be hosted in Qatar this year, for its debut edition in the Arab world. Reflecting its commitment to fostering science and research innovation, Qatar Foundation will welcome more than 600 of the world’s leading science journalists for the event, which will be held on its campus in Doha this June.
Dr. Mohammad Fathy Saoud, President of Qatar Foundation, welcomed WCSJ2011 saying, “The Middle East was the birthplace of countless scientific and intellectual achievements in its Golden Age, and we are now experiencing a science renaissance in which Qatar is playing a prominent role- making this year’s conference particularly relevant for the region.” He added, “Qatar Foundation is honored to welcome the World Conference of Science Journalists to Qatar this June.”
The three-day conference, running from June 27th to June 29th, will include plenary and parallel sessions led by top media and science experts from around the world. The conference will pay particular attention to the specific conditions and constraints facing science and science journalism in the region, with topics including bioethics, clinical trials in developing countries, and practical advice for “unveiling Arab science.”
Dr. Saoud commented, “Journalism has been among our top priority programs in Education City. The launch of the Northwestern University Program in Journalism and Communications in 2007 has been a major step in offering high-quality education in this important field, and is inspiring a new generation of youth who will become leaders for change in Qatar and the region."
A day of pre-conference workshops on June 26th will cover digital storytelling, climate change and biodiversity reporting, science journalism curriculum, responsible reporting on cancer, and media training tailored to reporters in the Arab world. The Islamic Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization will be sponsoring journalists from across the region who are at an early stage in their careers to participate in a science journalism development training session. Other pre-conference workshops are sponsored by UNESCO, the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships, and the European School of Oncology.
Dr. Abdelali Haoudi, Qatar Foundation’s Vice President for Research, spoke on the benefits of holding the conference in Qatar, noting, “As a regional thought leader, Qatar Foundation is particularly looking forward to introducing journalists to the Arab world’s burgeoning scientific community. With the number of science and research institutes and initiatives in Qatar and across the region growing steadily over recent years, there are an ever-increasing number of stories to be covered on developments in Arab science.”
The conference will be the first event of its size to be held at Qatar Foundation’s campus in Doha, home to eight international university branches that are at the heart of the organization’s basic research efforts. Since 2007, Qatar Foundation has expanded its work into applied and translational research, launching world-class institutes—including Qatar Research Institutes and Sidra Medical and Research Center—to tackle the country’s priority issues in biomedicine, energy and environment, and computing. The state-of-the-art Qatar Science & Technology Park provides a home for companies from around the world who develop and commercialize technologies in the areas of environment, health sciences and information and communication technologies.
On a larger scale, Qatar is investing in unlocking the country’s human potential and cultivating a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship and dedication to advancing scientific research regionally. Qatar Foundation’s Qatar Science and Leadership Program and Stars of Science pan-Arab reality-TV program are part of the country’s efforts to develop and train local scientists to lead research in Qatar to find home-grown solutions for Qatar and the region.
For more information about the conference, please visit www.wcsj2011.org.