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Five South American Reporters Selected as Fellows
EurekAlert!, the global science news service operated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), is happy to announce the recipients of the 2009 Fellowships for Science Reporters from Developing Regions, sponsored by Elsevier.
The awards will allow the five fellowship recipients to cover the latest research and mingle with their fellow science writers from around the world at the AAAS Annual Meeting, 12-16 February in Chicago. The fellowship pays for travel, lodging and meals at the AAAS Annual Meeting.
"I think this meeting will be a good update to inform journalists about the main issues concerning the scientific world today and a wonderful chance to meet qualified experts," said Maria Paz Sartori, science and technology reporter with Semanaria Búsqueda and a 2009 fellowship recipient. "The AAAS Meeting will, through this program, allow journalists to continue improving as professional, specialized science reporters."
Another fellowship recipient, Valeria Román, science journalist for Clarín newspaper in Buenos Aires, Argentina, said "For me, the AAAS fellowship will be a great opportunity to meet old and new science journalists and learn about different topics. I am very interested to listen to scientists talking about Charles Darwin and [other issues]."
The fellowships were originally launched in 2004 with a seed grant from the William T. Golden Endowment Fund for Program Innovation. The program brought 10 reporters from China to the 2004 AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle. Subsequent fellowships went to reporters from Africa and the Middle East, as well as an additional group from China. The 2006 fellowships were awarded to reporters from Latin America.
The recipients of the 2009 fellowships are:
- Carlos Albuquerque, science columnist, O Globo, Brazil
- Nora Lia Bär, science and health editor, La Nación, Argentina
- Guillermo Cardenas, science reporter, El Universal, Mexico
- Valeria Román, science and medicine reporter, Clarín, Argentina
- Maria Paz Sartori, science and technology reporter, Semanaria Búsqueda, Uruguay
In recent years, EurekAlert! has launched numerous programmatic efforts to increase its support and engagement with the Latin American science journalism community. Building upon the foundation that was established with the awarding of the 2006 fellowships, in 2008 EurekAlert! launched an enhanced Multi-Language Portal that now offers a one-of-a-kind service accommodating embargoed press releases in languages other than English.
"Science is trans-national. Having our Spanish-language releases posted in the EurekAlert! Multi-Language Portal promotes access to important information to over 400 million people throughout the Western Hemisphere and Spain," said Vivianne Schnitzer, Hispanic communications coordinator with the University of Michigan Health System. "Having Spanish-language press releases posted on EurekAlert! promotes the very basic idea that science and technology are produced for the progress of all, not only for a few."
Additionally, EurekAlert! is now also actively recruiting Spanish-speaking, nonprofit institutions based in Latin America interested in submitting embargoed breaking-news research. Centro Internacional de la Papa (International Potato Center) in Peru and Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (National Council on Science and Technology) in Mexico are among the institutions currently participating in this outreach.
Elsevier, a leading science-publishing company and repeat sponsor of the fellowship program, also shares an interest in forging collaboration and communication across different countries and cultures. "We are very excited to provide these talented Latin American science journalists with the opportunity to hear about new scientific breakthroughs and meet with international colleagues at the AAAS meeting," Shira Tabachnikoff, Elsevier's director of corporate relations, said. "We believe that supporting scientific dialogue across borders raises the bar on 'sound science' reporting throughout the world."
The fellowship program for science writers provides a key culminating event toward supporting the mission of both AAAS and EurekAlert! as they seek to encourage international scientific dialogue and advance the communication of science news to the public worldwide. Nora Lia Bär, science and health editor with La Nación said "I have dreamt of participating in the AAAS Annual Meeting ever since I began working as a science journalist ... and now it seems it will be true! I expect that these days in Chicago will be a unique experience, and will provide us with new tools and visions about our work and about the way we can contribute to develop science in our own country."