Message from the Exco – October 2021

by | Oct 25, 2021 | Message from the Exco

by | Oct 25, 2021 | Message from the Exco

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Dear Safreans,

Excitement is building for the World Conference of Science Journalists 2022! Join the South African Science Journalists Association (SASJA) to attend.

The last time science journalists from around the world got together was at the World Federation of Science Journalism’s World Conference in Lausanne, 2019. Covid derailed the planned event for 2021, but it’s happening next year!

There’ll be two events running in tandem – the in-real-life conference in Medellin, Colombia, from 27 June to 1 July, and a virtual partner-conference running from 13 June. This will include workshops, lectures, seminar, webinars, discussions, presentations and keynote addresses from some amazing speakers… it’s going to be fascinating and fun. I suspect there will be a sense of camaraderie and urgency, as it’s the first time so many of us will come together since the beginning of the pandemic. We’ll have much to talk about.

If you’d like to attend, you should be a member of SASJA. For existing Safrea members, that’s easy: membership of SASJA does not cost you anything extra, but you do have to be a bonafide science media practitioner – there’s an application process. Contact us via the President, Mandi Smallhorne, at for more info. If you are not a member of Safrea, join us and request to join SASJA! Go to to apply for membership.

Meanwhile, on the home front, SASJA is planning an event which we believe will be very worthwhile. We are lining up some great speakers for a webinar to discuss the infodemic and what it tells us about messaging around science. Science journalists and communicators do a careful and often inspired job, but when we report, are we taking into account the widespread ignorance about science itself? How can we tackle that? We’ll tell you all about it as soon as the webinar dates and speakers are finalised. Keep your eyes peeled!

Our photographer

This month we can thank photographer Hansie Oosthuizen for featuring his architectural photographs in this newsletter. Hansie can be followed on Facebook (

Yours in freelancing,

Mandi Smallhorne (SASJA President)