PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


The communication between researchers and vulnerable communities in Colombia
Lessons learned from the “Academy and Society Project”

Marcela Lozano  

The communication between researchers and vulnerable communities in Colombia: lessons learned from the "Academy and Society Project" The paper seeks to share, from a critical perspective, the findings, tensions and difficulties that have emerged in the Academy and Society Project. Project developed by the Javeriana University (Bogotá, Colombia) with the interest of contributes to collaboration, communication and social appropriation of science between researchers from the University and different citizen groups. The aim is put academical knowledge into dialogue with the local knowledge that is relevant to local realities. The crucial idea behind the project involves a working relationship between the university and citizen groups that need answers to relevant questions. In offering this ideal, bottom-up approach to research, the hope is that the relationship between science and the public can be encouraged through accomplishing active collaboration in research, as well as providing such groups with access to the university and its facilities, regardless of institutional barriers. This project is a meeting point for researchers from different disciplines of the University and different citizen groups, promoting linkages between research, teaching and outreach. To realize this project, we open a call for research proposals in the University. The call seeks to promote investigation that will contribute to solve problems and increased potentialities of communities with social challenges. The paper will present the results of the call for research, emphasizing three projects about important issues as water management, public health and food sovereignty. We will focus on the lessons learned during the project about the processes of collaboration, participation and communication that took place between researchers and the communities involved.

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