On the Impact of the Africa Scientifique Workshop on their Leadership drive for the advancement of Science Communication in Africa
I view science Communication/Public Engagement as an essential component for a research-focused institution of the type I am part of. Workshops such as the one organized by Africa Scientifique assist post-graduate students to heighten their awareness of the importance of communication in general, and science communication/public engagement on particular. The intervention of science communication workshops also go a long way to complement and fill in the communication gaps that science students may have missed during the course of their undergraduate academic phases.
Socioeconomic challenges (social justice & inequality) keep me motivated in communicating my science. These are important socio-political issues that as a female Black scientist I face on a regular basis. These issues are a very important motivator for me in terms of my science communication. Read More.
The students were engaged and those that were shy overcame their anxiety and were able to present. There were some really amazing and confident presenters in this years cohort.
The time allocated to engagement and participation made it clear that student development was at the heart of the programme. Implicit was the fact that students brought a wealth of knowledge that one could leapfrog from.
I got to interact directly with the students and to have tangible experience of both their anxieties and their enthusiasm. Read More.
- Ms Tintswalo Kissey Mhelembe – An Alumni of the Inaugural 2020 Africa Scientifique Programme at AIMS talking about her challenges with science communication and the benefits and impact of the programme on her skills, leadership and knowledge for public engagement.
The African Scenarios on Science Communication: Perspectives on Challenges, Opportunities and drivers of advancement
Science Communication practices and norms are also carriers of culture. There is
therefore a need to take into account geographic specificities and cultural norms and practices when developing science communication strategies for given communities as opposed to simply replicating what has been developed and tested elsewhere, in particular the proliferous strategies originating from the northern hemisphere where, just for example, programs are designed to be rolled out with winter coming in December and Summer in June!
The main challenge is that policy makers together with those who have authority to direct the distribution of resources do not seem to regard Science Communication as an essential and strategic component of the operational portfolios of any publicly funded institution, especially those that are focused on research and its impact on society. Science communication has to be elevated to the same level as any other portfolio of a publicly funded institution in order for society to appreciate both the return and the value of their public investment. Read More.
Dr Rudzani Nemutudi – Talking about the unique Afro-centricity of the Africa Scientifique Programme and its empowering impact for African young researchers and academics.