CAMBRIDGE, MA.--About 500 reporters are gathering at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 26-29, for the
Fifth National Conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists,
hosted this year by MIT.
SPECIAL CREDENTIALS REQUIRED FOR GORE; ONLY PLENARY SESSIONS ARE OPEN
EDITORS: General press coverage is welcome for the plenary sessions
only, which will be held at Kresge at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday, and
Saturday at 10:15 a.m. Coverage is also invited for the visit of Vice
Since this is a conference of journalists, any journalist who wishes to
take part in the other activities, which include meals, must pay the
late non-member fee of $400. Late fee for SEJ members is $125.
Registration at Kresge begins at 7:30 a.m. Thursday and 8:00 a.m.
Journalists will need special SEJ press credentials (or White
House press credentials) to cover Vice President Al Gore's
speech in Kresge Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Press parking
(automobiles) is available at the West Garage on Vassar Street, west of
Massachusetts Avenue. Special SEJ press credentials--upon
presentation of your organization's press credentials and your
Social Security number--can be obtained ONLY between 3:00 p.m.
and 5:00 p.m. Saturday from the SEJ registration office at the
dining hall of the McCormick Dormitory, at the corner of Amherst Street
and Danforth Street. Please enter by Danforth Street.
The White House has asked press and public to be seated by 6:45 p.m.
Parking space in the area for TV-transmitting vehicles is limited.
Please call Kathleen Rowe at 617 253-2700 or 617 258-5400 to make
David Ropeik of WCVB-TV, Boston, the 1995 conference chair, and Emilia
Askari, SEJ board president, of the Detroit Free Press, will open the
session. MIT President Charles M. Vest will welcome the group to MIT and
will introduce MIT Professor Mario J. Molina, who will speak briefly.
Molina is one of three environmental scientists awarded the 1995 Nobel
Prize in chemistry for showing that human activities can imperil the
fragile ozone layer that protects the world from the dangerous
ultraviolet radiation of the sun. Former Massachusetts Governor and
Democratic presidential candidate Michael J. Dukakis will moderate a
roundtable discussion which includes Carol Browner, EPA Administrator,
and MIT Professor and Nobel laureate Henry Kendall, the head of the
Union of Concerned Scientists. The group will discuss "Environment and
the Mood of America" based on a 1995 national poll.
From 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Friday, the plenary session will cover "What's
new in Washington" with a panel including the moderator, Sara Thurin
Rollin of the Bureau of National Affairs; Steve Curwood of NPR's Living
on Earth; Barry Serafin, ABC's World News Tonight; Heather Dewar of
Knight Ridder; Steve Cook of Congress Daily; Philip Davis of NPR; and
Rae Tyson of USA Today.
From 10:15 to 11:45 Saturday, the plenary session will be "Environmental
Journalism Ethics: Are We Scaring the World to Death?" Participants
include moderator JoAnn Valenti of Brigham Young University; Gary Lee of
The Washington Post; Peter Sandman, risk communicator; Ellen Silbergeld,
University of Maryland, and John Stossel, ABC's 20/20.
Vice President Albert Gore, who has taken a keen interest in
environmental issues, is scheduled to speak at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday
in Kresge Auditorium. A question and answer session for SEJ members will
The journalists attending the conference will include the International
Federation of Environmental Journalists, who will meet at Tufts
University on Wednesday, Oct. 25, before moving over to the MIT