Background:
The South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity is a National Facility within the National Research Foundation. Initiatives like the South African Coelacanth Conservation and Genome Resource Programme form part of the new service-driven role of the Institute where education and public programmes play an important part in disseminating scientific information.

Partners:
The South African Coelacanth Conservation and Genome Resource Programme is a large, multi-disciplinary, collaborative programme, presently involving 24 partner organisations.

Public awareness strategies:
The public awareness campaign includes raising science awareness nationally and internationally to create enthusiasm and positive action from stakeholders and the general public. The coelacanth is an icon for marine conservation and its presence in the South African deep waters provides an opening for research, and an increase in awareness in areas such as marine biology, oceanography, geoscience, population genetics, genome resources and environmental education.

Environmental education products and services:
A purpose of the Programme’s environmental group is to make science popular and accessible through developing educational material and programmes which ensure change in attitudes of teachers, school children, communities and general publics.

Funding:
The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (DACST) made a R10 million commitment as core funding and leverage for future fund raising. Additional funding, support and sponsorship have enabled the Programme to realize two wide-ranging expeditions, various workshops, exhibitions and development of educational resources.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Communicating the Coelacanth Initiative

Margot Collett   South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity

Background:
The South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity is a National Facility within the National Research Foundation. Initiatives like the South African Coelacanth Conservation and Genome Resource Programme form part of the new service-driven role of the Institute where education and public programmes play an important part in disseminating scientific information.

Partners:
The South African Coelacanth Conservation and Genome Resource Programme is a large, multi-disciplinary, collaborative programme, presently involving 24 partner organisations.

Public awareness strategies:
The public awareness campaign includes raising science awareness nationally and internationally to create enthusiasm and positive action from stakeholders and the general public. The coelacanth is an icon for marine conservation and its presence in the South African deep waters provides an opening for research, and an increase in awareness in areas such as marine biology, oceanography, geoscience, population genetics, genome resources and environmental education.

Environmental education products and services:
A purpose of the Programme’s environmental group is to make science popular and accessible through developing educational material and programmes which ensure change in attitudes of teachers, school children, communities and general publics.

Funding:
The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (DACST) made a R10 million commitment as core funding and leverage for future fund raising. Additional funding, support and sponsorship have enabled the Programme to realize two wide-ranging expeditions, various workshops, exhibitions and development of educational resources.

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