University professors and public sector scientists are regarded as highly credible sources of information on biotechnology. Hence, their role in science communication, particularly on biotechnology is critical. A survey was conducted to investigate how academics and scientists involved in crop biotechnology in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines view science communication and their role in public awareness and understanding. Although they noted the importance of science communication, respondents devoted an average of 11 percent of their working time to it with most focused on research and instruction. Most of them (40%) had low level of engagement activity (1 to 10 activities/year) mostly conducted for students or staff from other institutions and farmers with an objective of fostering awareness and understanding on biotech, creating public acceptance towards biotech, and addressing issues concerning the risks and benefits of biotech. A total of 31 respondents (10%) have attended training on science communication, which were mostly sponsored by non-governmental organizations. With more funds for science communication activities, additional training, and career incentives, they would be more encouraged to conduct more science communication activities. The respondents feel that an integration of science/biotech communication activity in mainstream organizations or professional societies to enable growth in the field through constant exchange of ideas and experiences will lead to a more informed public about biotechnology.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Academics and scientists as biotech communicators
Perspectives, capabilities, and challenges in Southeast Asia

Mariechel Navarro   International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA)

Kristine Tome   International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA)

Rhodora Aldemita   International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA)

University professors and public sector scientists are regarded as highly credible sources of information on biotechnology. Hence, their role in science communication, particularly on biotechnology is critical. A survey was conducted to investigate how academics and scientists involved in crop biotechnology in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines view science communication and their role in public awareness and understanding. Although they noted the importance of science communication, respondents devoted an average of 11 percent of their working time to it with most focused on research and instruction. Most of them (40%) had low level of engagement activity (1 to 10 activities/year) mostly conducted for students or staff from other institutions and farmers with an objective of fostering awareness and understanding on biotech, creating public acceptance towards biotech, and addressing issues concerning the risks and benefits of biotech. A total of 31 respondents (10%) have attended training on science communication, which were mostly sponsored by non-governmental organizations. With more funds for science communication activities, additional training, and career incentives, they would be more encouraged to conduct more science communication activities. The respondents feel that an integration of science/biotech communication activity in mainstream organizations or professional societies to enable growth in the field through constant exchange of ideas and experiences will lead to a more informed public about biotechnology.

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