PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Speaking science in 90 seconds

Joana Lobo AntunesInstituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa and Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Portugal


  • Paulo CastanheiroFCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa   Portugal
  • Adriano CerqueiraITQB and FCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa   Portugal
  • Antí³nio GranadoFCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa   Portugal
  • Paulo Nuno VicenteFCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa   Portugal
In Portugal, we have very few opportunities to put science in the media, especially in television and radio. A 2011 study stated that only 0.8% of television news pieces in the four Portuguese public TV channels were about science and technology. On the other hand, we have a growing scientific community since the 90’s, growing in people, productivity and quality.

In 2016, our team from Universidade Nova de Lisboa decided to produce a science daily show for national radio, featuring a new scientist each day, just 90 seconds long, running in afternoon prime time and repeating in the morning of the next day. Although this is a common format elsewhere, in Portugal it was the first show of its kind and it has now a longevity of over 3 years with daily programs, having so far put on air more than 700 scientists, with gender, geographic and scientific area balance.

The program “90 seconds of science” was born in Academia to serve the national purpose to inform the public about the knowledge being produced by Portuguese scientists. We have been able to be one of the top shows in the national radio, become a very important empowering tool for scientists and also giving most of them a first experience with the media, and at the same time making a portrait of our scientific community of these times. We have been able to gather two sponsors that have made us financially stable, and we have been awarded Acesso Cultura prize, for making science more accessible to audiences (2018), and Gulbenkian Prize, for bringing knowledge to society (2019). The program has been a tool for transforming academia and its relationship with society in Portugal, and we will discuss on ways to capitalize this potential.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Category: Insight talk
Theme: Transformation