Strengthening international science journalism in 2019

David Salcedo, Sylvia Kantor, Carmina de la Luz, Czerne Reid, Cecilia Fernández Castañón, Robin Lloyd, Cris Russell, Tatiana Pardo Ibarra, Diego Arguedas Ortiz (from left to right).

Thanks to the International Program Fund created by CASW and NASW, 2019 was a year of international exchange and strengthened global connections for science writers from Latin America and the United States.


In October, five science writers from Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico attended ScienceWriters2019 in State College, Pa. where they met new friends and colleagues, learned about science journalism in the United States, and increased their awareness of the value of including diverse voices and sources in their reporting.

In their own words:

ScienceWriters2019 “was definitely one of the most inspiring conferences I’ve ever attended. It gave me the opportunity to think beyond my region.”––Cecilia Fernandez (@cecifercas), National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina

“I wanted to improve my knowledge about how scientific journalism/communication works in USA, and network with the objective that Latin American stories (researched in territory) have a space in American media.” ––Tatiana Pardo (@Tatipardo2), freelance journalist, Colombia

“Science Writers gave me the opportunity to weave networks with the other travel fellows with whom I can now develop cross-border projects. It also made me aware that, as a science journalist, I must always think about the possible conflicts of interest and ask myself: who is this scientist? Why are they researching what they research?”––Carmina De la Luz Rodríguez (@luzspica), freelance science journalist, Mexico. De la Luz also previewed the “Transgender in Latin America” cross-border reporting project at a luncheon highlighting nonprofit journalism collaborations supported by HHMI.

Carmina De la Luz Rodríguez previewing the “Transgender in Latin America” cross-border reporting project
Carmina De la Luz Rodríguez previewing the “Transgender in Latin America” cross-border reporting project.

“It’s very important to give diversity to the content––in the sense of more scientific sources, including many participants: women, men, minority sectors––because in the end we are all part of a society with shared problems.” ––David Salcedo (@ian_fr) of the Institute of Physics at UNAM and reporter for Symbiosis MX, Mexico

Diego Arguedas Ortiz (@arguedasortiz) founder and editor of Costa Rica’s Ojo al Clima (Eye to Climate), also attended.

World Conference of Science Journalism 2019

In July, U.S. and Latin American journalists were among 100 recipients from 53 countries who won travel fellowships to attend the 11th World Conference of Science Journalists in Switzerland. Nine were awarded fellowships funded by the International Program Fund honoring longtime San Francisco Chronicle science reporter and CASW Fellow David Perlman:

  • Florencia Ballarino (@florballarino), Perfil, Argentina
  • Will Beaton (Sandbagger News), Colorado State University graduate student from Minneapolis
  • Barbara Fraser (@barbara_fraser), US independent journalist based in Peru
  • Geoffrey Giller (@geoffreygiller), US freelance science writer based in Berlin
  • Kelso Harper, multimedia journalist, Scientific American, New York
  • Kendall Powell (@kendallsciwrite), freelance science writer, Lafayette, CO
  • Irene Rodríguez (@irerodsa), science and health journalist, La Nación, Costa Rica
  • John Wendle (@johnwendle), US independent journalist based in Senegal
  • Carolyn Wilke (@carolynmwilke), freelance writer, Chicago

The IPF also provided travel support to three members of the delegation who presented the winning bid in Lausanne to host WCSJ2021 in Medellín, Colombia: Ximena Serrano Gil (@XimenaSerranoG), president of the Colombian Association of Science Journalism (ACPC); Andrew Wight, an Australian scientific journalist who lives in Medellín; and Mara Brugés (@MaraBruges), a science communicator at the University of Rosario in Bogotá.