For the first time, a group of Asian science, health and environment journalists, mainly from China, India and Japan, are covering the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) in Barcelona, thanks to fellowships by Germany’s Robert Bosch Stiftung Foundation.
This marks an attempt by the Bosch Foundation to expand the science journalist exchange programme to countries beyond Europe. For the first ESOF event in Stockholm in 2004, the foundation provided fellowships to German journalists to cover the event, as well as the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in 2005.
For the second ESOF conference in Munich in 2006, the foundation added a bilateral touch to the programme, offering reverse fellowships to ten US and three Canadian journalists to cover the event.
This year, the geographical outreach for the fellowships has expanded to Asia, with eight from China, nine from India, four from Japan journalists. They join 20 colleagues from Germany and ten from India.
Rainer Hoell, science programme officer from Robert Foundation, says they are open to the idea of expanding the fellowship programme to Africa and other regions. May the tribe increase!!
Journalist exchange apart, Europe is increasingly, recognising the emergence of China and India as major science and technology competitors and the importance of projecting its scientific achievements and scope for collaboration in these countries, says James Cornell, president of the International Science Writers Association.
The continent is somewhat concerned that the US has stolen a lead over it in science and technology collaborations in India and China, and is now keen to make up for it.
T V Padma, South Asia coordinator, SciDev.Net