Nature Middle East | House of Wisdom

WCSJ2011 – hello Doha!

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The journey of moving the World Conference of Science Journalists 2011 from Egypt to Qatar was, to say the least, a monumental feat.

So much effort went into moving everything that the organizers had worked on for nearly a year and a half to Doha, Qatar in just three months. It often seemed like an impossible task but today all the pieces fell together. A beautiful reception dinner opened the conference, with over 600 science journalists from around the world coming down to the city of budding science.

While the last WCSJ, held in London in 2009, attracted nearly 1,000 people, the WCSJ2011 this year has the largest number of participants ever from the developing world, making it truly the first global science journalism meeting. Over 30% of the participants come from African and the Arab world actually.

I’m going to try to blog from some of the more interesting sessions here. I’m producing one session on reporting science in languages other than English (with speakers who report in Afrikaans, Arabic and Urdu) while I’ll be speaking in another session about House of Wisdom and science blogging.

Do you report on science in a local language other than English? Share your experience here – it would be helpful while producing the session!


  1. Report this comment

    Lectora corrent said:

    Yes, I report science in Catalan, a Latin language spoken by 6-7 milion people, but not officially recognized by the European Union.

    I am aware I would have a bigger audience if I wrote in Spanish, but I think that small languages must be “cultivated” and need more care to be preserved, especially when they are co-official with a strong language such as Spanish.

  2. Report this comment

    Mohammed Yahia said:

    Thanks for your comment Lectora!

    Actually I don’t think there is anything like Arabic science – the blog is just about science in the Arab region but the language issue is one that passes across regions.

    I’m just back from WCSJ2011 where we had a successful session and the thing that struck me the most was how the experience from people reporting in Urdo, Afrikaans and Arabic were extremely similar.

    Each of the speakers came from a completely different part of the world yet language limitations when reporting on science are universal I guess.

    That is why I think it is very helpful for YOU to share your experience here on the blog. Fellow Arab science journalists might learn from what you have to offer.