Science Congress Attracts Over 430 Delegates from 24 Countries

(Paris, December 8, 2003)
The 11th World Congress of Science Producers wrapped up on Saturday with lively back-to-back sessions on the creative challenges of drama in documentaries, and the controversies surrounding television coverage of the SARS outbreak. The discussions marked the end of more than three full days of seminars, workshops, screenings and social events attended by over 430 delegates from 24 countries – making this the best-attended Science Congress in years.

The Congress began with the traditional welcoming reception on Wednesday evening, at the historic Hôtel Lutetia in Paris. The centerpiece of Thursday's official opening ceremonies was the Congress keynote address, delivered by the internationally renowned French ethnologist Jean Malaurie, who made an animated and impassioned plea for more science, better science – and more time for science – on television.

Among the many standing-room-only sessions were: "What's the Buzz?" – in which a blue-ribbon panel reviewed some of the outstanding programs of 2003 and offered a preview of what's likely to be hot in 2004; "Mummies on Trial: Breaking Away from the Tried and True" – a mock trial in which prosecution and defense traded barbs with one another under the watchful gaze of a bewigged judge (and wildly appreciative audience); and "Crossing Genres: Science Meets Entertainment" – addressing the provocative question of whether science television has "gone Hollywood."

Innovations at this year's Science Congress included "Matchmaker: Producers Forum," an opportunity for independent producers to pitch projects to an audience of other independent producers and commissioning editors, and "Little Gems," a platform for science program-makers who find creative ways to make good programs despite the limitations of small budgets and other constraints. In a similar vein, "The Curse of CGI" was a look at smart alternatives to expensive computer generated images.

At the heart of the World Congress of Science Producers are the central issues of program content, creativity, and opportunities for social interaction. The 11th Science Congress generated its own buzz: in the conference rooms, in the hallways, during the coffee breaks, at the daily lunches and at the particularly special evening social events – a reception at the French National Assembly, and a reception and dinner at the spectacular Museum of Natural History.

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. Host broadcaster of this year's event was France 5 and le groupe France Télévisions. Next year's event takes place October 31 – November 1, 2004 in Toronto, Canada. For more information on the World Congress of Science Producers, go to

For More Information:

Heidi Bobiak
Communications Manager
Banff Television Foundation

Sarah Pearson
Communications Assistant
Banff Television Foundation

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