Programme on Science and the Media 2001-2003


This programme formed part of IAP's 2000-2003 agenda and is now incorporated in part by the capacity building programme for science academies, and through the successful launch and continued collaboration with http://www.scidev.net (science news website).

Activities in 2003

A science, technology and media conference on the theme "In Search of a Common Language", organized by the Academia Nacional de Ciencias Exactas Físicas y Naturales de la Argentina, SciDev.Net and the Asociación de Comunicadores de Prensa de la República Argentina (Club 21), was held on 21-22 August 2003 in Buenos Aires. It provided a forum for scientists, public information officers and journalists to share both their successes and their frustrations in communicating science and technology issues to the public. The conference brought together over 450 individuals mainly from Argentina. More than 25 invited speakers explored how the capacity of science and technology communication could be enhanced in the region. The main conclusion was that there is a clear need, particularly in developing nations, to promote capacity building in three separate areas: communication skills for scientists, professional skills for public information officers, and comparable skills for journalists interested in writing about science. The conference was a step forward in Argentina to promote better practice in the professional communication of science and technology to the public. The full report is available here. For more information, contact: jcrisci@netverk.com.ar

Activities in 2002

- Nearly one-third of IAP members responded to the IAP-US National Academy of Sciences-Third World Academy of Sciences questionnaire on science and the media that was prepared and distributed as a follow-up to the IAP workshop on science and the media held in Trinidad and Tobago last February (see below). A concept paper "Building the Communications Capacity of the World's Science Academies," based in part on the response to the survey, has been prepared and will be submitted to foundations for potential funding.

- SciDev.Net, with the support of IAP, held a 4-day workshop in Entebbe, Uganda on Science Communication for Sustainable Development from 30 September to 3 October 2002. It brought together scientists, public relations officers and journalists along with professionals from academies of science, government departments, science and technology policy institutions and non-governmental organisations. Participants were mostly from the eastern African region and explored how capacity for science communication can be enhanced in the region. For more information, see http://www.scidev.net/entebbe/invite.html.

- The Indian National Science Academy (INSA) held a one-day seminar on "Science and the Media" on 5 August 2002. Over 80 participants attended and discussed ways to improve dialogue between scientists and journalists. The proposals which emerged from the seminar can be viewed here.
List of Participants, 5 August 2002.

- An IAP workshop, "Science and the News Media: A Workshop for Young Practitioners" was held in Tobago from 26-28 February 2002. The workshop, which received funding from IAP, TWAS, the US National Academy of Sciences, the French Academy of Sciences, Scidevnet and LEAD International, brought together journalists, public information officers and academies to discuss the challenge facing science communication in the South and the North.

Abiodun Raifu, Editor of the Saturday Tribune in Ibadan, Nigeria, provided his reflections of the workshop, as did Paul Caro of the French Academy of Sciences. See here.

Selection of presentations:
Lisbeth Fog, president of the Colombian Association of Science Journalism, and describes the many faces of science journalism as it is currently carried out in Latin America. Click here to read more.
Inyang Ekanem, administrative secretary at the Nigerian Academy of Science, outlines the problem of communicating science information in a science unfriendly environment. Click here for more.

Scidev.net, co-organizer of the event, has a selection these and other presentations given during the workshop available on their website, click here

Also available:
introduction to the activity, programme, list of participants,
background paper.
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