In the last few years, Mexican institutes of scientific research have started opening communication of science offices. This is very important for a country like Mexico, since  in a democratic society, citizens must be informed of the latest scientific advances so that they can participate in the debate about the trends science will follow, its applications, its benefits and its risks. This is very important since  scientific research is often funded with citizens’  taxes; this is the case, in particular, for the National  Autonomous  University  of  Mexico  (UNAM).  Science  communication  benefits  not  only individuals who have no direct contact with scientific research, but also scientists themselves. It is important that the latter communicate their projects and discoveries: when they do so, their work gains social recognition, their institution gets exposure, and they are more likely to get funding for their next project. However, most scientists find communicating their results to the general public to be complicated and frustrating. Because of this, several institutes in UNAM have hired professional communicators  of  science,  whose  tasks  include  organizing  press  conferences,  writing  articles, organizing events, and doing public relations for the institute. The members of the communication team must carry out rigorous research about the subjects of interest of the institute, which are often of great complexity, and in which they generally have little or no experience. Moreover, they have to find the best way to communicate scientific subjects to different audiences with very diverse cultural backgrounds. The problem of how to carry out communication of science actions within these offices in  a  multicultural  country  can  be  very  complicated.  Hence,  in  order  to  learn  from  previous experiences, I visited ten communication of science projects within institutes of scientific research around the world – including those of CERN, NASA, and the Gran Sasso Laboratory – and I identified the communication of science models that they used in particular communication of science actions. Based  on  this  research,  I  am  proposing  a  communication  of  science  model  for  Mexican  science institutes, that I am implementing in the Communication of Science Unit of the Nuclear Sciences Institute of  the National Autonomous University of Mexico. This proposal is both part of my PhD research and the analysis of the actions I have carried out as the coordinator of this office.

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A communication of science model for institutes of scientific research

Gabriela Frías Villegas   Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares - National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico

In the last few years, Mexican institutes of scientific research have started opening communication of science offices. This is very important for a country like Mexico, since  in a democratic society, citizens must be informed of the latest scientific advances so that they can participate in the debate about the trends science will follow, its applications, its benefits and its risks. This is very important since  scientific research is often funded with citizens’  taxes; this is the case, in particular, for the National  Autonomous  University  of  Mexico  (UNAM).  Science  communication  benefits  not  only individuals who have no direct contact with scientific research, but also scientists themselves. It is important that the latter communicate their projects and discoveries: when they do so, their work gains social recognition, their institution gets exposure, and they are more likely to get funding for their next project. However, most scientists find communicating their results to the general public to be complicated and frustrating. Because of this, several institutes in UNAM have hired professional communicators  of  science,  whose  tasks  include  organizing  press  conferences,  writing  articles, organizing events, and doing public relations for the institute. The members of the communication team must carry out rigorous research about the subjects of interest of the institute, which are often of great complexity, and in which they generally have little or no experience. Moreover, they have to find the best way to communicate scientific subjects to different audiences with very diverse cultural backgrounds. The problem of how to carry out communication of science actions within these offices in  a  multicultural  country  can  be  very  complicated.  Hence,  in  order  to  learn  from  previous experiences, I visited ten communication of science projects within institutes of scientific research around the world – including those of CERN, NASA, and the Gran Sasso Laboratory – and I identified the communication of science models that they used in particular communication of science actions. Based  on  this  research,  I  am  proposing  a  communication  of  science  model  for  Mexican  science institutes, that I am implementing in the Communication of Science Unit of the Nuclear Sciences Institute of  the National Autonomous University of Mexico. This proposal is both part of my PhD research and the analysis of the actions I have carried out as the coordinator of this office.

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