Public Release: 

AAAS/EurekAlert! build bridges with Middle Eastern science community through journalism fellowships

American Association for the Advancement of Science

EurekAlert!, the global science news service operated by AAAS, in cooperation with the National Association of Science Writers in the United States and the Arab Science Journalists Association, is happy to announce the recipients of the 2008 AAAS Fellowships for Reporters in Developing Regions, sponsored by Elsevier.

The award will allow the four fellowship recipients to cover the latest research and mingle with their fellow science writers from around the world at the AAAS Annual Meeting, Feb. 14-18 in Boston. The fellowship pays for travel, lodging and meals at the AAAS Annual Meeting.

The fellowships were originally launched in 2004 with a seed grant from the William T. Golden Endowment Fund for Program Innovation. It brought 10 reporters from China to the 2004 AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle. Subsequent fellowships went to reporters from Africa and Latin America.

This year, in an important step toward fostering cooperation between the Western and Middle Eastern science communities, AAAS, the National Association of Science Writers, and the Arab Science Journalists Association will bring an emerging group of Arab science writers to the AAAS Annual Meeting to cover global science issues.

The recipients of the 2008 fellowships are:

"For me, I hope to collect as much information as I can, especially in the field of the environment," said Dalia Abdel Salam El Dessouky. "Through the different sessions, I'll look for the scientific solutions for developing countries' problems." She mentioned her particular interest in avian influenza, which has been a concern in Egypt.

The National Association of Science Writers, a leading voice for science journalists and communicators in the United States, has an ongoing relationship with the Arab Science Journalists Association, facilitating mentoring opportunities between experienced science writers in the United States and their colleagues in the Arab world.

"We hope that through this partnership and through this particular experience of attending the AAAS meeting, our Arab science journalists will get an opportunity to learn more about not only American science, but also American culture," said Nadia El-Awady, president of the Arab Science Journalists Association. "And that American journalists, through mingling with their Arab colleagues, will also learn about Arab science and Arab culture. These kinds of activities are wonderful opportunities for knowledge and cultural exchanges; something much needed during these particularly difficult times."

Deborah Blum, international liaison for the National Association of Science Writers, said her organization is proud to be working with its Arab counterpart. "We believe the best science reporting is often done in a global context," Blum said. Working with the Arab association, she said, "will help educate our members and, we hope, help members of both groups be better journalists and ones with good and lasting relationships across cultures."

Elsevier supports initiatives that "provide opportunites for science journalists from all areas of the world to meet, share ideas and learn about scientific developments taking place that they can write about for their own, local audiences. This collaboration is a great example of working together to make science stories available to everyone," said Elsevier spokesperson Shira Tabachnikoff.

The fellowship program for science writers is important to the mission of both AAAS and EurekAlert! as they seek to encourage international scientific dialogue and advance the communication of science news to the public worldwide. "We are very excited to be able to bring this group of science journalists from the Arab world to the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston," said Patrick McGinness, EurekAlert! director. "It is a great opportunity for these journalists to gain exposure to breaking news about cutting-edge scientific research, and to bring that news to a part of the world that might not otherwise hear about it."

Meeting coverage by each 2008 fellowship recipient will be published on EurekAlert!'s Multi-Language portal ( More information about the 2008 fellowship recipients is available at


About AAAS

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science ( AAAS was founded in 1848, and serves some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, reaching 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The nonprofit AAAS ( is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!,, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. Working in partnership with the global science and health communities, Elsevier's 7,000 employees in over 70 offices worldwide publish more than 2,000 journals and 1,900 new books per year, in addition to offering a suite of innovative electronic products, such as ScienceDirect (, MD Consult (, Scopus (, bibliographic databases and online reference works.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.