Are you a science communicator, or aspiring to be one?
Join our network by attending the 4th edition of BE SciComm, the one and only Belgian network meeting for science communicators, on Friday 1 December!

We bring together (future) science communicators, from researchers to journalists, press officers, communication officers, policy workers, etc.

The 2023 edition of BE SciComm focuses on the science news cycle. We will take some time to discuss how to push for nuance and avoid hyperbole and how science news spreads across channels. As always, we have an interesting line-up of speakers to focus on research, training and daily practice. There will be ample opportunities for networking.
Leuvenseweg 38
1000 Brussels
Date & Time
1 December 2023
9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Michaël Opgenhaffen
KU Leuven
Researcher Digital Media & Journalism
Wietse Wiels
Neurologist & president of SKEPP
Nathalie Van Raemdonck
imec & VUB
Researcher platform governance & the spread of misinformation
Miguel Vissers
Researcher newsworthiness of scientific research
Marleen Finoulst
gezondheid & wetenschap
MD & journalist
Gregoire Lits
Researcher media sociology
Kim Verhaeghe
Johanne Montay
Editorial Manager for Science-Health-Innovation
Senne Starckx 
Science journalist
Liesbeth Demuyser
QBD & KU Leuven & UCLL
Science communicator
Kim Barbé
Communication advisor
09:30 AM

10:00 AM

Welcome to BE SciComm 2023
Welcome & introductions by the meeting organizers Liesbeth Aerts, Ingrid van Marion & Elisa Nelissen
10:10 AM

An infodemic of science (fiction)
How to communicate facing the algorithm? We dive into the research on infodemics, alternative facts, conspiracy theories etc. Nathalie Van Raemdonck will give us some insights into information flow, based on her research on platform governance and the organic spread of misinformation. Gregoire Lits studies the circulation of information in public spaces in times of crisis and on how different social problems evolve over time, from radioactive waste management, to poverty, the aging population, climate change, and more recently, the Covid-19 crisis and disinformation. Wietse Wiels is neurologist, researcher and president of SKEPP, an organization focused on the critical evaluation of pseudoscience.
11:40 AM

Networking session 
Time to get to know your fellow attendees during a networking session. We hope the BE SciComm network day gives you the chance to catch up with familiar faces and to make new valuable connections.
12:20 pM

01:00 PM

The journey of science news
In this session, we focus on how science travels from the lab, desk, or any research setting to mass and social media. We have invited two researchers on this topic and two practical experts. Michaël Opgenhaffen is Associate Professor of Digital Media and Journalism at KU Leuven, where he focuses on the impact of social media on the production and consumption of news, including online disinformation and factchecking. He is also a founding member of Miguel Vissers is a researcher at UAntwerp, studying newsworthiness of scientific research.
After a deep dive in the data we open the floor for further discussions with expert Johanne Montay, editorial manager at RTBF for all science, health and innovation news, and freelance science journalist Senne Starckx, who regularly writes for De Standaard, Eos, NRC Handelsblad and other outlets. 
03:00 pM
03:30 pM

What will it take to lift science reporting to the next level?
How can we improve the quality (and quantity) of science news in Belgium? What are the hurdles? What can we learn from science news abroad? Would a local science media center be helpful? We talk about it with our panelists, including MD and journalist Marleen Finoulst, one of the driving forces of 'Gezondheid en Wetenschap', a platform that aims to provide patients and citizens with reliable health information. Kim Verhaeghe from the Flemish popular science magazine and website Eos, a major local player, also shares his experiences and insights, as will Liesbeth Demuyser, science communicator and editor-in-chief of BIOVOX. Kim Barbé, communication advisor at FWO, also joins to shed light on the role science funding bodies can play.
05:00 pM

Networking drink
We close the day with more networking. Join us at Brewdog, right near Central station, to dive deeper into what has been discussed during the different sessions over a drink. 
Hoek 38
Leuvenseweg 38, 1000 Brussels
500 m from Brussels-Central train station

Hoek 38 is home to FWO. It is located centrally and can easily be reached by public transport. If you are travelling from outside of Brussels, we warmly encourage you to come by train.
(Registration is free!)
Organized with the generous support of
 Join us on 1 December
Registration is free but spaces are limited. Don't miss out!
Get in touch
Questions or suggestions?
Do not hesitate to get in touch!

Meeting organizers
Liesbeth Aerts
Elisa Nelissen
Ingrid van Marion

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