Science journalists in Africa complain that the biggest threat to their livelihood is the lack of sources willing to peak to them. Research by SciDev.Net in 2012 indicates that a major structural challenge to engaging science ources is institutional policies which result in censorship. This however, is not a problem unique to one region. The World Conference on Science Journalism structured much of their sessions and the documentation of their plenaries around concerns about censorship and the Canadian science community has had to adjust to a new egime on public engagement under its current federal administration. The session attempts to map first the extent to which censorship is undermining a culture of science globally. It then seeks to explore tactics to address this in different contexts. The session will feature some reflection from geographical regions affected by censorship such as Canada and the MENA region as well as from those working in sectors which have been traditionally challenged with secrecy and intimidation such as the pharmaceutical industry. The session will also seek to feature activists working for press freedom asking them about the failures and successes of such campaigns.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Addressing the challenge of censorship in science communication

Nick Perkins   SciDev.Net, Kenya

Mohammed Yahia   Directive board of the Middle East Association of Science Journalists, Egypt

Ochieng Ogodo   SciDev.Net, Kenya

Laura Tresca  

Science journalists in Africa complain that the biggest threat to their livelihood is the lack of sources willing to peak to them. Research by SciDev.Net in 2012 indicates that a major structural challenge to engaging science ources is institutional policies which result in censorship. This however, is not a problem unique to one region. The World Conference on Science Journalism structured much of their sessions and the documentation of their plenaries around concerns about censorship and the Canadian science community has had to adjust to a new egime on public engagement under its current federal administration. The session attempts to map first the extent to which censorship is undermining a culture of science globally. It then seeks to explore tactics to address this in different contexts. The session will feature some reflection from geographical regions affected by censorship such as Canada and the MENA region as well as from those working in sectors which have been traditionally challenged with secrecy and intimidation such as the pharmaceutical industry. The session will also seek to feature activists working for press freedom asking them about the failures and successes of such campaigns.

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

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