The South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) aims to advance public awareness, appreciation and engagement of science, engineering and technology in South Africa. SAASTA is business Unit of the National Research Foundation.
|Science Communication Resources|
Nearly 50 astronomers from around the world contributed their ideas and experiences, often based on many years of experience, to this collection of tips and advice on how to communicate astronomy to a wide variety of audiences and bring stars to their eyes.
Evaluation can be the most dreaded part of a science communication project. The trick, explains Marina Joubert, is to recognise performance, develop skills and confidence, and enhance future efforts.
Professional science journalism involves finding an engaging story, structuring your piece, bringing it to life, and then accepting editorial revisions, says Jan Lublinski.
How can journalists tell if a scientist's claim is true? Julie Clayton helps science reporters check the quality of scientific claims and spot potential fraudsters.
Science communication has become a major factor in the formulation of policy on science-related issues, not just a commentary on the way such issues are addressed. [File size 129 KB]
Scientific staff and research managers need to serve as spokespeople because of their knowledge and expertise. Communication specialists can help formulate policy, coach from the wings, act as liaisons, and train other staff, but they cannot replace the important interchange between "the experts" and their stakeholders. By working together to plan communication both sides benefit and so achieve more effective research outcomes.
We all base many of our everyday decisions on what we hear or see in the mass media, which for the majority of the population has become the only source of scientific information. The scientific community therefore can no longer afford to dismiss its importance. [File size 26 KB]
The only form of communication which reaches every part of society is the general media - and a well-planned communication strategy must take this into account. Politicians and bureaucrats read newspapers and watch television - and often make far-reaching decisions on what they see and hear in the press. [File size 212 KB]
The South African press has often been criticised for its lack of science and technology coverage. The aim of this study was to establish the status of science and technology in a representative sample of the South African press. The study involved a detailed quantitative analysis of the amount and type of coverage in a sample of publications. [File size 3,086 KB]
Science journalists must not only present the results of research and its applications in comprehensive and popular ways, they must also invent new ways of communication and interaction between scientists and the public. [File size 109 KB]
A presentation presented at a science communication networking breakfast on 26 March 2004 by Marina Joubert, Manager: Science Communication Research and Strategy, SAASTA. [File size 3,086 KB]
Despite lack of knowledge and much uncertainty about genetically modified foods, many South African consumers are currently still supportive of this new technology and willing to buy genetically modified foodstuffs that will provide certain benefits. There is evidence, however, that attitudes may change rapidly as people get access to more information in this field.