Annual Congress to Discuss
Current State of Science Programming

(Banff, Canada, October 20, 2003)
"Science Television at the Crossroads" will be the hot topic of discussion as producers, broadcasters and science programmers from around the globe come together to take part in the 11th annual World Congress of Science Producers at the Hôtel Lutetia in Paris, France, December 3 to 6.

"It will be an occasion for celebration and reflection," said Jerry Ezekiel, executive producer of the Congress and senior vice president of the Banff Television Foundation. "A celebration of the achievements of science television during the past year will be at the forefront along with a wide ranging analysis of the issues confronting the genre in 2004 and beyond. SCIENCE 2003 will feature a myriad of opportunities for professionals to renew old acquaintances, make new friends, and forge creative and business relationships." Host broadcaster of SCIENCE 2003 is France 5 and le Groupe France Télévisions.

The Congress kicks off on December 3 with a lively keynote address by the internationally-renowned French ethnologist Jean Malaurie, who will make a passionate argument, born of extraordinary experience and commitment, for the increasing use of the television medium to help the public understand science and scientific issues.

Some of the best practitioners – and critics – of the genre will participate in an intriguing and eclectic smorgasbord of debates, discussions, and Master Classes throughout the three-day forum. Topics include "Reeling Them In, by Hook or by Crook", "Mummies on Trial: Breaking Away from the Tried and True", Compare Approaches – Thrills, Spills & TV Builds", "Great Idea – Shame About the Producer", "The Curse of CGI", and much more.

By special arrangement with the European Union, the Congress will include a special presentation by Philippe Busquin, European commissioner for research, with Europe's answer to the question of what to do about science and television. Serge Sirtzky, editor-in-chief of Ecran Total, will interview Mr. Busquin about the availability of grants and the objectives of the MEDIA program initiative.

In addition to the all-important content- and issue-oriented sessions, the 2003 Science Congress includes unprecedented access to the gatekeepers of international science programming, in a series of sessions titled "Meet the Commissioning Editors" and a by-appointment-only luncheon strand facilitating special access to those decision makers. This year's pitching forum for producers, titled "Matchmaker," will be precisely that – a carefully structured opportunity for producers and commissioning editors to connect with one another (and with our delegate audience).

Social events at the 11th Science Congress underscore the importance of this genre and this conference in the eyes of France's political and cultural leadership. The evening events take place at the Assemblée Nationale, with greetings from the President of the French Parliament, M. Jean-Louis Debré; and at the stunning Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle.

Last year marked Science Congress' 10th Anniversary, which took place in Berlin, presented by host broadcaster ARD German TV – Das Erste.

The World Congress of Science Producers is a member driven organization dedicated to celebrating the best in science production. It is administered by a Board of Directors and a Steering Committee that deals primarily with editorial matters. The Congress is managed by the Banff Television Foundation, the internationally recognized organizer and presenter of high quality electronic media events. For more information on SCIENCE 2003 or to register, go to

For More Information:

Heidi Bobiak
Communications Manager
Banff Television Foundation

Sarah Pearson
Communications Assistant
Banff Television Foundation

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