PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Science culture magazines. Where are they headed in Mexico?

Patricia Magana  

Theme: Trends in public communication of science and technology. The educational problems in México are permanent challenges for institutions and specialized groups, mainly for those involved in science communication. Several studies and polls confirm that young people only read what is strictly necessary for school purposes and consequently involves a cultural disadvantage for society. This scenario represents an important issue for institutions that edit cultural and scientific journals. Nationwide, there are more than thirty science culture magazines aimed to different audiences. Most of them are professional designed, edited by universities or science centres; some of them focus on particular topics while others are multidisciplinary. Most of the printed magazines have developed electronic portals to maximize their public but they are limited by the Internet coverture in such a big country. In consequence they maintain their paper formats but they have to compete in bookstores and newsstands with all kind of magazines. In 2012 the National Council for Science in Mexico (CONACYT) developed a new Impact Index to evaluate the quality of the magazines related to science in order to generate more academic support. After two periods of evaluation of their objectives, contents and designs there are nineteen of them in the index. They are aimed to a variety of audiences with the main objective to contribute to enrich science culture in Mexican population; some are focused in general themes and others approach national problems from a scientific critical perspective. In 2014 the Mexican Senate decided that all publications produced in institutions with federal support should be of opened access. The objective of this paper is to emphasize all the challenges the magazines have, especially in the Internet because there are many sites that have a considerable amount of not validated scientific information. Evaluating the results of electronic impact is now a major task for these magazines, in a country as Mexico where Internet connectivity is still limited.

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