Introduction: We will present an account of the process of design and development of a continuing education training program in Public Communication of Science and Technology, addressed to mediators and members of the scientific community in two regions of Colombia. This continuing education program lasts an average of one hundred and twenty (120) hours.

Background: The Colombian National Policy of Social Uptake of Science and Technology (Colciencias, 2005) presents the need to promote the creation of professional training PCST programs. In November 2005, within he framework of the International Seminar "Science, Technology and Innovation and Science Journalism for Development", organized by Colciencias (The Colombian Institute for the Development of Science and Technology), the Andrés Bello Agreement (latinamerican cooperation agency that promotes science, culture and education), the Colombian Association of Colleges and Undregraduated Programs in Communication (AFACOM) and Scidev.net, the participants of various sectors subscribed an "agreement to promote public communication of science, technology and innovation" where the issue of training is presented as one of the purposes to accomplish.

Objective: To analize and systematize the experience in terms of the design, the strategy as well as the outcomes of a PCST training program implemented in two regions of Colombia during 2007.

Methodology: The program was designed with the collaboration of the institutions that finance the project (Colciencias, Convenio Andrés Bello and AFACOM), with the participation of 5 universities of the regions where the training program was offered (Antioquia and Valle del Cauca) which allows to take into account the regional contexts and needs regarding PCST. The methodology of the academic program upholds in the design and realization of PCST strategies and products that allow participants to generate competences by learning by doing. The program also includes an emphasis in Social Studies of S&T in order to evidence the relationships between Science, Technology and Society as well as an historic perspective of PCST and its models. The program also was aimed to address the issue of the separation and mutual lack of understanding of the ways of production knowledge and information of scientists and mediators (communication professionals), taking into account that the ability to understand the point of view of each other and take distance of the one's own is a prerequisite to PCST (Jean Marie Albertini, 1985).

Results: There are similarities and differences from one region to another in terms of the profiles of the participants as well as the products and strategies developed. Most of the products attend the PCST complex deficit model. Some of the conditions of the training program also varied from one region to another due to the contributions of the universities of the regions. However the main structure of the program proved to fit the expectations of the participants.

Conclusions: This cooperative effort generates a program to promote PCST training at a continuing education level with the participation of various sectors and responds to their points of view of the problem: the political, the academic as well as the communication (professional) points of view. The methodology aims at taking into account the views of these sectors of society that have a responsibility in the development of competences in PCST. For that reason, this proposal constitutes itself in a strategy to promote scientific culture that could be implemented in other regions of Colombia or South America.

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 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Development of a public communication of science and technology training program
The colombian case

Tania Arboleda   Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

Marcela Lozano   Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

Introduction: We will present an account of the process of design and development of a continuing education training program in Public Communication of Science and Technology, addressed to mediators and members of the scientific community in two regions of Colombia. This continuing education program lasts an average of one hundred and twenty (120) hours.

Background: The Colombian National Policy of Social Uptake of Science and Technology (Colciencias, 2005) presents the need to promote the creation of professional training PCST programs. In November 2005, within he framework of the International Seminar "Science, Technology and Innovation and Science Journalism for Development", organized by Colciencias (The Colombian Institute for the Development of Science and Technology), the Andrés Bello Agreement (latinamerican cooperation agency that promotes science, culture and education), the Colombian Association of Colleges and Undregraduated Programs in Communication (AFACOM) and Scidev.net, the participants of various sectors subscribed an "agreement to promote public communication of science, technology and innovation" where the issue of training is presented as one of the purposes to accomplish.

Objective: To analize and systematize the experience in terms of the design, the strategy as well as the outcomes of a PCST training program implemented in two regions of Colombia during 2007.

Methodology: The program was designed with the collaboration of the institutions that finance the project (Colciencias, Convenio Andrés Bello and AFACOM), with the participation of 5 universities of the regions where the training program was offered (Antioquia and Valle del Cauca) which allows to take into account the regional contexts and needs regarding PCST. The methodology of the academic program upholds in the design and realization of PCST strategies and products that allow participants to generate competences by learning by doing. The program also includes an emphasis in Social Studies of S&T in order to evidence the relationships between Science, Technology and Society as well as an historic perspective of PCST and its models. The program also was aimed to address the issue of the separation and mutual lack of understanding of the ways of production knowledge and information of scientists and mediators (communication professionals), taking into account that the ability to understand the point of view of each other and take distance of the one's own is a prerequisite to PCST (Jean Marie Albertini, 1985).

Results: There are similarities and differences from one region to another in terms of the profiles of the participants as well as the products and strategies developed. Most of the products attend the PCST complex deficit model. Some of the conditions of the training program also varied from one region to another due to the contributions of the universities of the regions. However the main structure of the program proved to fit the expectations of the participants.

Conclusions: This cooperative effort generates a program to promote PCST training at a continuing education level with the participation of various sectors and responds to their points of view of the problem: the political, the academic as well as the communication (professional) points of view. The methodology aims at taking into account the views of these sectors of society that have a responsibility in the development of competences in PCST. For that reason, this proposal constitutes itself in a strategy to promote scientific culture that could be implemented in other regions of Colombia or South America.

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

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