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at AAAS Annual Meeting
One day in mid-May, 1984, Jacques Poncin, a science writer with the Belgian newspaper, Le Soir, wandered into the AAAS Annual Meeting in New York City by accident. The event was being held in the hotel in which he was staying.
He has never looked back.
"I now come every year," Poncin said. "Here I can learn things about different areas of sciencestem cell research, bioterrorism, explanations for memories of alien abduction… It's also a terrific opportunity to meet other journalists who become more friends than colleagues."
The AAAS Annual Meeting, which was held in Denver earlier this month, draws as many as 1000 science writers, among them a growing number of journalists from beyond the borders of the United States. In Denver, Poncin was one of about 250 reporters from Europe, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Like their American colleagues, they come to the meeting to stay on top of the latest research, to make contacts among sources, and to find stories they think might interest the public back home.
"There is a huge amount of interest in research and scientific topics in Germany," said Arthur Landwehr, a journalist with German Public Radio ARD who is based in Washington, D.C. "We are interested in anything in the medical field, for example. Alzheimer's is one of the big fields, but so is astronomy."
Landwehr said he has been particularly impressed with the communications skills of U.S. scientists. "It is amazing how they can explain to laymen like me what they are doing."
24 February 2003