The model for developing strategic projects that is presented here looks at the communication of science from a socio cultural perspective and is committed to contributing to the formation of a critical, participatory citizenry with a solid foundation of scientific culture. The model aims at developing the ability of science communication professionals to integrate theoretical knowledge and empirical data in designing and formulating strategic science communication projects. It is based on three fundamental elements: the socio cultural contexts of the intended audiences and their needs in terms of specific issues (starting point); the scientific knowledge, seen from an integrated interdisciplinary perspective, that might meet these needs (diagnosis and proposal); and the different competencies and tools that contribute to the design and formulation of a Strategic Science Communication Project (strategic communication). Knowledge of the target publics and their needs in terms of the potential use and appropriation of scientific knowledge, obtained through dialogue and observation, has helped to formulate effective projects in a variety of social settings, which has encouraged participation and deliberation regarding issues that concern the intended audiences. In this model, participation is seen as a continuum that goes from the provision of information (as in the deficit model) to involvement and dialogue (as in the contextual model) to empowerment for participation (as in the inclusion model).

One example is discussed: the development of a strategy for the Center for Research and Applied Technology in Jalisco (CIATEJ, in its initials in Spanish) in order to link the biotechnological knowledge generated there with potential users from different sectors of the population. It was the result of a careful diagnosis that included documentary research and research in social perceptions of issues and agendas, as well as concrete guidelines for implementing the strategy in the short, middle and long term. The process was enriched by an interdisciplinary approach that integrated knowledge from social communication, scientific journalism, psychology and marketing.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Strategic projects in public communication of science

Susana Lima   Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO)

Edith Portilla   Universidad Veracruzana

The model for developing strategic projects that is presented here looks at the communication of science from a socio cultural perspective and is committed to contributing to the formation of a critical, participatory citizenry with a solid foundation of scientific culture. The model aims at developing the ability of science communication professionals to integrate theoretical knowledge and empirical data in designing and formulating strategic science communication projects. It is based on three fundamental elements: the socio cultural contexts of the intended audiences and their needs in terms of specific issues (starting point); the scientific knowledge, seen from an integrated interdisciplinary perspective, that might meet these needs (diagnosis and proposal); and the different competencies and tools that contribute to the design and formulation of a Strategic Science Communication Project (strategic communication). Knowledge of the target publics and their needs in terms of the potential use and appropriation of scientific knowledge, obtained through dialogue and observation, has helped to formulate effective projects in a variety of social settings, which has encouraged participation and deliberation regarding issues that concern the intended audiences. In this model, participation is seen as a continuum that goes from the provision of information (as in the deficit model) to involvement and dialogue (as in the contextual model) to empowerment for participation (as in the inclusion model).

One example is discussed: the development of a strategy for the Center for Research and Applied Technology in Jalisco (CIATEJ, in its initials in Spanish) in order to link the biotechnological knowledge generated there with potential users from different sectors of the population. It was the result of a careful diagnosis that included documentary research and research in social perceptions of issues and agendas, as well as concrete guidelines for implementing the strategy in the short, middle and long term. The process was enriched by an interdisciplinary approach that integrated knowledge from social communication, scientific journalism, psychology and marketing.

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