The presentation deals with the emergence of a communication culture in science and technology in South Africa, the birth of a science communication network and the infusion of ”Madiba magic” in our drive to create science and technology awareness and understanding.

At the southern-most tip of Africa, we face a conglomerate of problems (if you’re a pessimist) or challenges (if you’re not) in all walks of life, and not less so when it comes to science communication. Some of these are historical, some are universal, others unique - all are important. Language plays a key role, and impacts not only the communication debate between scientists and journalists, but also the communication reality between science communicators and the publics they serve. These and other issues shaping science and technology communication in the country are discussed, along with efforts aimed at effectively bridging science communication efforts to our historically disadvantaged communities.

The South African Government has demonstrated its acknowledgement of and commitment to the importance of creating awareness and understanding of science and technology as prime factors in fostering economic growth and prosperity for the region, by proclaiming 1998 as the first Year of Science and Technology in South Africa. The successes and some of the lessons learnt from this initiative, as well as future challenges for similar initiatives, are discussed and illustrated with audio visual material. A glimpse of other current and future plans to promote science and technology communication in South Africa, will also be given.

The formation and launch of SASCON, an independent science communication network, is described, together with a number of projects initiated by this network, as well as plans and a guiding star for the future - such as being the host country for PCST-6 in 2000!

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 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Infusing madiba magic into science communication for a rainbow nation

Marina Joubert   Foundation for Research Development (FRD), Republic of South Africa

Amie Hunter  

Pieter van Heerden   SABS, Republic of South Africa

The presentation deals with the emergence of a communication culture in science and technology in South Africa, the birth of a science communication network and the infusion of ”Madiba magic” in our drive to create science and technology awareness and understanding.

At the southern-most tip of Africa, we face a conglomerate of problems (if you’re a pessimist) or challenges (if you’re not) in all walks of life, and not less so when it comes to science communication. Some of these are historical, some are universal, others unique - all are important. Language plays a key role, and impacts not only the communication debate between scientists and journalists, but also the communication reality between science communicators and the publics they serve. These and other issues shaping science and technology communication in the country are discussed, along with efforts aimed at effectively bridging science communication efforts to our historically disadvantaged communities.

The South African Government has demonstrated its acknowledgement of and commitment to the importance of creating awareness and understanding of science and technology as prime factors in fostering economic growth and prosperity for the region, by proclaiming 1998 as the first Year of Science and Technology in South Africa. The successes and some of the lessons learnt from this initiative, as well as future challenges for similar initiatives, are discussed and illustrated with audio visual material. A glimpse of other current and future plans to promote science and technology communication in South Africa, will also be given.

The formation and launch of SASCON, an independent science communication network, is described, together with a number of projects initiated by this network, as well as plans and a guiding star for the future - such as being the host country for PCST-6 in 2000!

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

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