Research centers and universities are places where different science communication products and activities could be developed, because it is where experts work and generate new scientific knowledge unknown to the general population. However this does not happen so spontaneously and easily as might be expected. I think this difficulty obeys many factors, both from the side of the communicators as that of the scientists.
El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, ECOSUR, is part of the System of Public Research Centers of the National Council of Science and Technology, CONACYT, the agency responsible for developing science and technology policies in Mexico. ECOSUR is located in the four states that are frontiers with Guatemala and Belice.
In the Department of Communication, which I have been in charge of for six years, there work eight professionals from various fields: communication specialists, journalists, computer scientists and designers who have no scientific training, which hinders both their understanding of the scientific concepts, and what is necessary to highlight in a scientific research.
On the other hand, our interests and those of the researchers are clearly different. They are interested in talking about the concrete results of their research. We are in the scientific issues that could be interesting for and useful to the general audience. In addition, researchers are working with a lot of pressure to achieve the results that the institution expects of them: to develop high quality research, publish articles in scientific journals, teach in our postgraduate school and graduate students. Outreach science activities are hardly taken into account in their annual evaluations.
It is obvious that without their cooperation it is impossible to do our work. How do we succeed in involving researchers in popularization of science activities? 
I have faced these challenges with varying degrees of success: we edit a quarterly magazine of science communication, publishing articles in newspapers and magazines, do radio interviews, coordinate our website as a news portal, make videos, and organize talks and workshops in both the city and in indigenous communities. The aim of my presentation is to discuss various ways to build bridges between researchers and the staff of the Department of Communication to divulge the results of their work, and raise the level of scientific knowledge that exists in the region, one of the poorest of the nation.
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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Building bridges between researchers and popularization of science professionals

Martha Backhauss   El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, ECOSUR

Research centers and universities are places where different science communication products and activities could be developed, because it is where experts work and generate new scientific knowledge unknown to the general population. However this does not happen so spontaneously and easily as might be expected. I think this difficulty obeys many factors, both from the side of the communicators as that of the scientists.
El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, ECOSUR, is part of the System of Public Research Centers of the National Council of Science and Technology, CONACYT, the agency responsible for developing science and technology policies in Mexico. ECOSUR is located in the four states that are frontiers with Guatemala and Belice.
In the Department of Communication, which I have been in charge of for six years, there work eight professionals from various fields: communication specialists, journalists, computer scientists and designers who have no scientific training, which hinders both their understanding of the scientific concepts, and what is necessary to highlight in a scientific research.
On the other hand, our interests and those of the researchers are clearly different. They are interested in talking about the concrete results of their research. We are in the scientific issues that could be interesting for and useful to the general audience. In addition, researchers are working with a lot of pressure to achieve the results that the institution expects of them: to develop high quality research, publish articles in scientific journals, teach in our postgraduate school and graduate students. Outreach science activities are hardly taken into account in their annual evaluations.
It is obvious that without their cooperation it is impossible to do our work. How do we succeed in involving researchers in popularization of science activities? 
I have faced these challenges with varying degrees of success: we edit a quarterly magazine of science communication, publishing articles in newspapers and magazines, do radio interviews, coordinate our website as a news portal, make videos, and organize talks and workshops in both the city and in indigenous communities. The aim of my presentation is to discuss various ways to build bridges between researchers and the staff of the Department of Communication to divulge the results of their work, and raise the level of scientific knowledge that exists in the region, one of the poorest of the nation.

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