Statement on Travel to the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists

The organizers of the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists are monitoring developments in U.S. immigration policy and assessing how new regulations and legal action might affect travel to the meeting, scheduled for October 26-30, 2017, in San Francisco. We are resolute in our determination that the conference will continue its tradition of welcoming colleagues from across the globe, and we oppose any restrictions that would prevent participants from attending WCSJ2017.

As October approaches, we will do everything we can to make the meeting accessible to all. We suggest that those planning to attend check with the U.S. consulates in their countries about applying for a U.S. visa as early as possible, and stay current on the travel situation. The organizing committee has arrangements in place for assistance with visa denials.

Organized by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, the National Association of Science Writers and the World Federation of Science Journalists, WCSJ2017 seeks to bring together science journalists from more than 80 countries. Our goal is to make the conference a place where all who are committed to science journalism and its impact on society can find their global community, no matter their nationality.

Excellent science journalism has never been more important to our complex and changing world. We are committed to freedom of association and freedom of the press worldwide, and to the support of our professional colleagues in all parts of the world. Our theme, “Bridging Science and Societies,” reflects the fact that journalists interpret science in context for diverse societies, and that by coming together we can all learn to do this important work better. Our host city and state, San Francisco, California, are  among the most welcoming in the world to people of all nationalities and cultures, particularly in these challenging times.

The World Conference is no stranger to overcoming crisis. Attendees dealt with quarantines in order to attend a productive and invigorating 9th World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul, Korea amidst a local MERS outbreak in 2015. During the upheavals of the Arab Spring in 2011, organizers and supporters of the 7th World Conference of Science Journalists, including NASW, worked together over many months to ensure that the conference would remain in the Middle East and be accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

It is in that same spirit of collaboration and connection that we have partnered with the World Federation of Science Journalists to create a forum where we can all continue the important work of building the global capacity for science journalism and exploring crucial issues at the interface of science and society.

We invite you to stay in touch. Please subscribe to conference updates online at wcsj2017.org for news on this topic and others, including the current call for travel fellowship applications.

Cristine Russell
Ron Winslow

Co-Chairs, WCSJ2017 Organizing Committee