Speakers | Science in the Newsroom Global Summit 2020

Science in the Newsroom Global Summit 2020

23 Nov 2020 to 24 Nov 2020

Timing: 07:00 & 12:00 GMT | 08:00 & 13:00 CET | 15:00 & 20:00 Singapore/Hong Kong Time

Speakers | Science in the Newsroom Global Summit 2020


Crisis Communications Officer, WHO Regional Office for Africa

AbdelHalim AbdAllah (Halim) is the Crisis Communications Officer for the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa. He is leading the setup and coordination of the Africa Infodemic Response Alliance (AIRA) and its social media arm Viral Facts. He is also part of WHO's COVID-19 vaccine demand and readiness task force in the region and is supporting with crisis communications for the rollout of the novel oral polio vaccine.

As a journalist, Halim worked with the Daily News Egypt and Agence France-Presse. As a communications professional, he worked with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in the field in Yemen, Syria, Jordan and Nigeria, and was also the former Head of Communications for MSF Lebanon.

Deputy Creative Director, South China Morning Post

Adolfo Arranz was an infographic artist at the Spanish newspaper El Mundo for more than ten years and was the creative director for MediaCorp in Singapore. He first joined SCMP in 2011 and has picked up more than 150 recognition awards along the way. He currently helps run SCMP’s infographics and illustration department as deputy creative director.

Engagement editor, News24, South Africa

Alet Law is the newsletter and engagement editor at News24 and former opinions editor. She holds a PhD in political communication from the University of Cape Town.

Communications Director, International Science Council

Alison is originally from Western Australia and joined the ISC as Senior Communications Officer in February 2019 and was appointed Communications Director in April 2020. Her role includes developing the ISC communications and outreach strategy, supporting membership engagement and working alongside colleagues on a wide range of ISC projects. Alison holds a Master of Arts degree in Public Policy and International Law from the American University of Paris and most recently, a Programme Certificate in Climate Change Management from the University of Edinburgh. Alison has post-graduate qualifications in Journalism and Education and considers herself a life-long learner.

Prior to joining the ISC, Alison worked in the Communication and Information sector at UNESCO, as Director of Press Freedom for the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, and as a Public Affairs officer for the British Red Cross. She also spent 12 years in the labour movement in Australia and the UK, organizing campaigns in sectors such as nursing, care homes, education, and the food and airline industries.

Research & Development Chief and Product Lead for Newsroom Tools, Wall Street Journal

As Research & Development Chief and Product Lead for Newsroom Tools, I lead a multidisciplinary team of engineers, data scientists, journalists, and strategists that use emerging computational approaches to improve the storytelling tools and enrich the stories of The Wall Street Journal. 

Alyssa background is audience engagement and editorial innovation. she was previously a Managing Editor at Barron's where she accelerated the nearly 100-year old magazine’s digital transformation, including the integration of print and digital teams, a redesign of Barrons.com, the launch of podcasts and an award-winning newsletter. Alyssa work led to record audience and subscription numbers for Barron’s. At the Financial Times, she was a founding member of the Audience Engagement and Communities teams, ushering in the use of data in the newsroom as well as unprecedented collaboration across the company.  

She has a M.Sc. in Management from London Business School and a B.A. with distinction in Psychology and Economics from McGill University.

Chief Executive, Australian Academy of Science

Anna-Maria has over 20 years’ experience in the science sector and is an experienced Chief Executive currently leading the Australian Academy of Science, an independent not for profit organisation that provides authoritative and influential scientific advice, represents Australia on key international scientific bodies, builds public awareness and understanding of science, and champions and supports excellence in Australian science. 

In this role Anna-Maria has led significant reform in global science engagement, in science policy matters; and in addressing gender equity in science.

Starting her career as a neuroscientist, Anna-Maria undertook medical research in Australia and abroad, before applying her skills to policy development both in the Australian public service and in politics where she has provided policy advice across many social and economic portfolios.

She has held several senior executive positions in the science sector as CEO of Science  and Technology Australia and Deputy Director at Questacon. In these roles, Anna-Maria has worked extensively with parliamentarians, the business and community sectors, and the media.

She is a strategic and dispassionate advocate for science, social justice, diversity and inclusion.

Director of Research and Internationalization, Norwegian Veterinary Institute

Carlos Gonçalo das Neves graduated in Veterinary Medicine, from the Technical University of Lisbon in 2004, and obtained his doctorate (PhD) in veterinary science, specialty Virology in 2009 from the Norwegian School of Veterinary Sciences.

With scientific papers published in international scientific journals and extensive experience of scientific project coordination Dr. Carlos das Neves is currently the Director of Research and Internationalization at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute in Oslo, responsible for coordination of research staff of more than 150 researchers working in more than 20 different disciplines.

He served previously for three years as Head of Virology and two years as Head of Food Safety & Emerging Threats at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute. He holds a joint position on ONE HEALTH and wildlife at the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of Tromsø, and has been promoted to research professor in 2018.

Prof. das Neves has developed his scientific research in the field of virology in wildlife species and accumulated over these years extensive experience of fieldwork across the Arctic.  We works mostly today with topics related to ONE HEALTH and emerging threats, especially viral zoonosis and antimicrobial resistance, also with a focus on LMICs.

In 2013 he obtained the diploma of specialist of the European College of Zoological Medicine in the area of Wildlife Population Health and was appointed by the Norwegian Government in 2014 as an expert in animal welfare and health of the National Food Safety Committee.

He is currently the President of the Wildlife Disease Association and the Wildlife Population Health specialty chair for the European College of Zoological Medicine. In 2020 Prof. das Neves was also appointed by Norway to join the group of international experts at IPBES working on the relation between biodiversity and pandemics.

Dr. Carlos das Neves has also served as Honorary Consul of Portugal in Norway between 2010 and 2017.

Executive Director of The Royal Society of Canada

Darren Gilmore is Executive Director of The Royal Society of Canada. The Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada (RSC) was established under an Act of Parliament in 1882 as the senior Canadian collegium of distinguished scholars, artists and scientists. The primary objective of the Society is to promote learning and research in the arts, the humanities, and the social and natural sciences. As a national, bilingual organization consisting of over 2000 Fellows and over 45 Institutional Members from every province, the RSC is Canada's National Academy.

Editor-in-Chief, The Globe and Mail, Canada

David Walmsley

David Walmsley has held leadership positions at four major Canadian news organizations. After working for newspapers across Britain, including the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph, he moved to Canada for the launch of the National Post in 1998 and worked at CBC News and the Toronto Star before joining The Globe in 2006. He is editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail since March 2014.

Past Principal of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, UK

Professor Denise Lievesley has just completed a five year term as Principal of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, a graduate college specialising in medicine, management and applied social science. Prior to her role in Oxford, she was Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy in King’s College London. Formerly she has been Chief Executive of the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre; Director of Statistics at UNESCO, where she founded the Institute for Statistics; and Director of the UK Data Archive. Denise is a statistician who has been very active in professional associations serving as President of the Royal Statistical Society (1999 – 2001), the International Statistical Institute (2007 – 2009) and the International Association for Official Statistics (1995 – 1997). A Fellow of University College London (her alma mater), she has honorary doctorates from City University and the University of Essex and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2014 for services to social science. Her research on the use of evidence in policy making internationally focuses on the relationship between trusted and trustworthy information. She has campaigned for the importance of professional, quality statistical services which set the agenda for official data to be collected unhindered by political interference, and which are free to publish uncomfortable truths.

Founder and CEO, Fathm

Fergus Bell is the founder and CEO of Fathm, an independent news lab and consultancy. He is an experienced journalist, editor and leading expert in digital newsgathering, verification, newsroom innovation and collaborative journalism projects.

Fergus’ experience spans both the business and editorial sides of the news industry. He spent eight years at the Associated Press, where he became their first International Social Media and UGC Editor. He then headed up newsroom partnerships and innovation for digital newsgathering start-up, SAM Desk.

In 2015 Fergus founded Dig Deeper Media, advising broadcasters, publishers and start-ups on social and digital newsgathering, newsroom transformation and innovation.

In 2017 he co-founded Pop-Up Newsroom, a framework for collaborative journalism projects that has already seen success in the US, UK, India, Sweden and with the multi-award winning “Verificado” – an initiative designed to monitor for misinformation during the Mexican elections. In 2019 Pop-Up Newsroom was a core architect and partner of India’s ground-breaking Checkpoint initiative that innovated heavily with WhatsApp to tackle misinformation in the world’s largest election.

Fergus has been a Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow and is a graduate of the University of Leeds.

Senior data visualisation journalist, Financial Times, UK

John Burn-Murdoch is the Financial Times’ senior data visualisation journalist, and creator of the FT’s coronavirus trajectory tracker charts. He has been leading the FT’s data-driven coverage of the pandemic, exploring its impacts on health, the economy and wider society. When pandemics are not happening, he also uses data and graphics to tell stories on topics including politics, economics, climate change and sport, and is a visiting lecturer at the London School of Economics.

News editor, China, South China Morning Post

Josephine Ma is China news editor and has covered China news for the Post for more than 20 years. As a correspondent in Beijing, she reported on major news stories such as Covid-19 pandemic, the 2003 Sars outbreak, the riots in Lhasa and the Beijing Olympics in 2008. She has been based in Hong Kong since 2009. She has a master’s degree in development studies from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree in English language from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Technical Officer - Lead, World Health Organization

Melinda Frost is a leader in global public health communication and education with a focus on infectious disease, immunization, non-communicable disease and health security. She is currently the ‘Translate Science’ team lead – Infodemics Pillar for the World Health Organization’s response to COVID-19. In this role she represents the risk communication and community engagement response (RCCE) for the Organization.

Prior to COVID-19, Melinda led RCCE capacity building for WHO under the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework. She directly supported more than 40 countries in building their emergency RCCE preparedness and response capabilities under the International Health Regulations. She co-led and designed the Emergency Communications Network and SocialNet deployment trainings which collectively prepared 300+ media and emergency risk communicators and social and behavior scientists for deployment. She also designed the WHO European Region’s Emergency Risk Communication 5 – Step capacity building package as well as numerous journalist trainings.

Prior to 2013, Melinda was the Director for Emergency Risk Communication for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) in Beijing, China for 6 years and developed and led new communications programs from the agency headquarters for more than 10 years. Melinda has also consulted for UNICEF, FAO and IFRC to assess national existing communication capacity, coordinate multi-sector partnerships, develop communication strategy and facilitate programs to strengthen national and sub-national level communication response.

Melinda’s experience spans more than 25 years as a manager, director of programs, project officer, health communicator, writer, producer, instructional designer and educator. She holds a Master’s degree in Global Public Health, a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology – Cognitive Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications.

Director of Communications and Outreach, Australian Academy of Science

Paul Richards worked in mainstream media for 20 years before joining the Australian Academy of Science where he is now Director of Communications and Outreach.

He worked for Australia’s number one breakfast TV show, Sunrise for more than ten years. He spent most of that decade as Supervising Producer, delivering 18 hours of TV a week before joining The Australian Academy of Science.

Paul joined the Academy to establish a video team, which has helped grow the organisation’s social media following to over 2.4 million. He is passionate about telling stories of substance in an engaging way.

Medical doctor, Freelance Health Journalist and Science Writer

Roberta Villa had been contributing to main Italian magazines and newspapers, such as Corriere della Sera, for more than 25 years. Since 2012, she has also been working on EU-funded projects about preparedness and response to infectious threats, especially by communication and involvement of the public. She is currently a research fellow involved in QUEST (Quality and Efficacy of Science Communication in Europe) at Ca’Foscari University in Venice.

She has been member of the strategic nucleus within the Italian National Immunization Technical Advisory Group and of the Government Task Force against fake news online about Covid-19, and contributes to the website “Dottore, ma è vero che…” for the Federation of Italian Medical Associations (FNOMCeO).

Author of “Acqua sporca” (Zadig, 2014), with Antonino Michienzi, on the Stamina affair, of “Vaccini, il diritto di non avere paura” (Corriere della Sera, 2017; Pensiero scientifico, 2019) and, with Silvio Garattini, of “Il Guerriero Gentile” (Solferino, 2019), she is also very active in health and science communication on new social media (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter).

She is speaker, moderator or teacher at conferences, round tables and courses targeted to scientists, doctors, journalists and students.

Senior Health Correspondent, The Straits Times, Singapore Press Holdings

Award-winning Journalist

Shirish is an award-winning journalist and researcher with 25 years’ experience working in all the UK’s major broadcast newsrooms. More recently he’s worked as a freelance investigative journalist and as a community organiser at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

He’s spent the last year asking fundamental questions about what journalism is for, the importance of storytelling and how we can better serve our citizens and communities.

Professor of Journalism at City, University of London

Suzanne Franks is Professor of Journalism at City, University of London where she was, until 2019, head of the Journalism department. This is the oldest and largest Journalism School in the UK, educating over 500 students annually who originate from over 40 countries. Suzanne joined BBC TV as a trainee in the 1980s and later worked as a journalist in news and current affairs on programmes including Panorama, Newsnight, Watchdog and the Money Programme and rose to become an executive producer in the area of political coverage. She subsequently set up an independent production company which won commissions from broadcasters including Sky News, Channel 4 and the BBC. Her company also won the first contract to televise the UK Parliament. Suzanne later sold the company and in 2007 she completed a Phd. Suzanne’s academic work has focussed upon Humanitarian Communication. She teaches a module on this topic and has published widely on crisis reporting and the coverage of international news. Her books include Africa’s Media Image in the Twenty First Century: From Heart of Darkness to Africa Rising (Routledge) and Reporting Disasters: Famine, Aid, Politics and the Media. (Hurst/OUP) She is currently writing a book for Palgrave on the reporting of humanitarian crises and is a Principal Investigator on an EU Horizon project which focuses on science communication and the reporting of Climate Change. Her other specialist area is in gender and journalism. Her books include Having None of it: Women, Men and the Future of Work (Granta) and Women and Journalism published in association with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in Oxford, where she was a visiting fellow. Suzanne has written many articles on women in the media and regularly broadcasts and speaks on this topic. She leads a research project at City University on the role of women experts in the broadcast media.

Director of the Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness department (GIH), World Health Organisation

Dr Briand is the director of the Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness department (GIH) in charge of advancing global efforts to prevent and control existing and emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19 but also other dangerous pathogens like pandemic influenza, plague, Nipah virus, coronaviruses, smallpox and other pox viruses, arboviruses (Zika, and Chikungunya) and disease X.  

Since 2001, Dr Briand has been actively involved in the detection, preparedness and response to global epidemic and pandemic diseases, leading the scientific and strategic component of the WHO response for avian and pandemic influenza, Ebola, Zika, Plague, yellow fever, cholera, MERS.

For COVID19, Dr Briand is also fostering the improvement of “infodemic management” through a global partnership including social media platforms and other UN agencies.

Science in the Newsroom Global Summit 2020