Fabio Turone and Daniela Ovadia, from the Center for Ethics in Science and Journalism, in Milan, write about the challenges of science journalism and how the ERC funding of the FRONTIERS project may help to tackle some of these challenges.
“The ERC chose to support a project based both on action and research, recognizing that the science journalism community deserves to establish its own ethical rules and best practices”, they write, in a commentary article for the Nature journal.
The FRONTIERS project is set to run from 2023 to 2027. During this time, the FRONTIERS Team plans to enable up to 40 science journalists to spend time with research teams, working on their own reporting ideas at institutions of their choice.
The full article can be read here (in English) and here (in Italian).
The FRONTIERS team gathered, on June 21 and 22, in Barcelona, to officially launch the ERC-funded project, FRONTIERS (Fellowship Residencies Offering science News professionals Tools and training for Independent and Ethical Reporting on Science). During the kick-off meeting, the partners discussed the project’s goals and established a detailed agenda for the implementation of the project’s objectives.
FRONTIERS is expected to implement residencies for science journalists within research institutions across Europe. Besides the residency program itself, the project will also develop a set of ethics principles, best practices and guidelines for journalistic fellowships in research institutions.
In the coming months, the FRONTIERS consortium, which includes the NOVA University of Lisbon (Portugal), the Pompeu Fabra University (Spain), the Center for Ethics in Science and Journalism (Italy) and the SME Enspire Science (Israel), will work together to develop and implement the first calls to the residency programs.
The FRONTIERS project has been selected to receive 1.5 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC) to implement a program of residencies for science journalists in research institutions across Europe.
The project will run from 2023 to 2027 and aims to promote journalistic independence and the coverage of frontier research topics, such as those typically supported by the ERC. Besides the residency program itself, the project will also develop, together with the relevant stakeholders and with the support of a multidisciplinary Advisory Board, a set of ethics principles, best practices and guidelines for journalistic fellowships in research institutions.
FRONTIERS will support the fellows and the hosting institutions with a centralized help desk, provide training for both the fellow journalists and the researchers of the hosting institutions, and will develop a long term sustainability model as a project legacy.
During the implementation period of FRONTIERS, three application phases will be announced at the European level and journalists with different levels of experience, from young to experienced, will be able to apply. Proposals will be evaluated by the consortium, and the winners will then sign a full dedication agreement to the residency at the host institution. A total of 30 to 40 journalist residencies, which will last from three to five months, will be funded under the project.
Research institutions from any area of knowledge will be invited to express their interest in hosting journalists and creating the necessary conditions for the residencies. One of the objectives of this initiative, which includes a training program on independent and ethically responsible science coverage, is also to promote mutual learning between scientists and journalists.
The FRONTIERS consortium includes the NOVA University of Lisbon (Portugal), the Pompeu Fabra University (Spain), the Center for Ethics in Science and Journalism (Italy) and the SME Enspire Science (Israel), which coordinates the project.