In a somewhat sobering contrast to the pleasant surroundings, the conference addressed a number of serious themes affecting public discourse across the world. As it was the first conference since the COVID pandemic, this subject was one of the hottest topics—in particular its impact on science journalism and the need to confront disinformation and misinformation.
The World Conference of Science Journalists is a showcase for science journalism's state of the art, attracting representatives from cutting-edge areas of science, technology, and medicine and reporters eager to make even the most complex topics accessible to the widest possible audience.
The presentation of the ITER Project—both at the conference's "story corner" as well as in the plenary—raised the question of how developing countries will be able to benefit from fusion technology in the future. In anticipation of concrete political measures to enable the worldwide sharing of fusion technology, it was agreed that steps could and should be taken now to stimulate the development of fusion-related scientific and technological capacities through targeted investment in education and research in developing countries.
Conference participants showed a high level of curiosity towards fusion technology in general and ITER in particular. There were lively discussions at the exhibition stand about timelines, benefits, future commercialization, and the comparison with other fusion technologies. (Pictured, ITER's Kirsten Haupt)