In our diverse world, the level of understanding of the challenges facing agriculturalists ranges from excellent (in many developing countries), to non-existent (in urban Western communities). For scientists developing new agricultural innovation, this understanding often tends towards the latter end of the scale. Similarly, many farmers have little appreciation of the potential and limitations of scientific research, nor of the process of investigation and analysis. Yet I would argue that both farmers and scientists would benefit from better communication opportunities, particularly in areas of agricultural innovation that might require new methods of husbandry. Trust in the new technology, as well as belief that the new system will be managed properly is crucial for farmers and scientists to help bring new innovations to the field.

In this session I hope to explore the different attitudes of scientists and farmers towards each other in different countries, as well as comparing the various communication mechanisms used to exchange information about new farm-based technologies. In particular the role of the extension provider as a science communicator in different countries, as well as the influence of the media could be addressed. I hope also to discuss the wider implication of stakeholder consultation in the prioritising of research agendas.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Improving communication between farmers and scientists

Belinda R. Clarke   Norwich Research Park Science

In our diverse world, the level of understanding of the challenges facing agriculturalists ranges from excellent (in many developing countries), to non-existent (in urban Western communities). For scientists developing new agricultural innovation, this understanding often tends towards the latter end of the scale. Similarly, many farmers have little appreciation of the potential and limitations of scientific research, nor of the process of investigation and analysis. Yet I would argue that both farmers and scientists would benefit from better communication opportunities, particularly in areas of agricultural innovation that might require new methods of husbandry. Trust in the new technology, as well as belief that the new system will be managed properly is crucial for farmers and scientists to help bring new innovations to the field.

In this session I hope to explore the different attitudes of scientists and farmers towards each other in different countries, as well as comparing the various communication mechanisms used to exchange information about new farm-based technologies. In particular the role of the extension provider as a science communicator in different countries, as well as the influence of the media could be addressed. I hope also to discuss the wider implication of stakeholder consultation in the prioritising of research agendas.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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