Entries for 2005

Entries for 2004

What is WWDS?

How to Become Involved

Key Dates


Origins of WWDS

Teaching Resources


  What is the World Wide Day in Science?  

Whether combing the wilderness for lizards, growing microbes in the laboratory, or scanning the heavens, the possibilities of science are endless.

The World-Wide Day in Science project creates a unique resource for high school and university students wanting to know where science can take them, anytime in their career, anywhere in the world.

On April 12th 2006, science students worldwide set out into the field and laboratories to report on what is happening in science. What does a botanist do all day? How does a forensic psychologist get inside a criminal’s mind? Using video, voice, and photos, scientists at work are observed and recorded.

Some professionals in science recorded their activities on 12 April and sent us their diary entries, a biographical sketch, and relevant images.

In our pilot year, 100 students and scientists participated representing 20 nationalities. By 2005, participation had grown to include students and scientists from every continent, including Antarctica!

What happens on April 18th 2007?

On 18th of April this year, university and high school students around the world go into the field and laboratories to record what is happening in science. Photos, video, and voice captured science as it occurs on April 18th, not a day sooner, not a day later. As noted above, professionals who are not being shadowed record their own diary entries and snap few photographs.

Student reporters then assemble these observations into text or multi-media stories. Their classmates take on editing and compiling submissions for addition to the World-Wide Day in Science website. This site subsequently displays the efforts of university science students from Sydney to Edinburgh, Tucson to Montevideo. The website shows high school students how scientists the world over comb the wilderness for lizards, grow microbes in the laboratory, or scan the heavens. It becomes a resource for those wanting to know where science can take them, anytime in their career, anywhere in the world.

What will students on reporting teams learn?

The World-Wide Day in Science process begins when students nominate for roles. In each role, students need to discover for themselves the required duties and responsibilities. Planners and team managers have to guide student reporters, producers, editors, and technical production staff. The reporters and producers develop multi-media stories that the editors and production staff then tailor for addition to the World-Wide Day in Science website.

The students will learn how to work in teams, hierarchies, and production lines; how to handle concrete deadlines; how to communicate effectively and delegate responsibility; and how to deliver a professional product for public consumption. They become part of an active worldwide network of scientists-in-the-making. Last but not least, they learn what botanists, psychologists, and astrophysicists do all day.


Does it work?

Yes. A local pilot, ‘A Day in the Life Sciences in Australia’, was successfully carried out in 2003 by 82 second-year science undergraduates at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Hundreds of copies of the resulting CD-ROM have been distributed to high schools around the Australia.

The process has been repeated in 2004, 2005, and 2006, with international scope and doubling in size each time. For 2007, the number and diversity of student reporters is expanding significantly. Regular contributors have been students from Pompeu Fabra University in Spain, The University of the Republic of Uruguay, and Edinburgh University. Joining them for 2007 are students from the Australian National University and United Arab Emirates University. .

To accommodate this growth in student and scientist contributors, the WWDS website has been upgraded to automate submission of stories. New features making our database of profiles of science-based professionals more interactive via an online 'personality test' completed by our student readers.

The impressive pilot effort by students in 2003 can be seen at:

Who is running the project?

The University of New South Wales is one of Australia’s leading research universities with particular strengths in mathematics, psychology, physics, and the life sciences. Course coordinator of the 2003 ‘A Day in the Life Sciences’, Dr Will Rifkin, has been recognised as one of the leading educational innovators in Australia. He has degrees from M.I.T., the University of California-Berkeley, and Stanford University.



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