04.10.2019 - MTD/PC

Scientific research-based narrative: an interdisciplinary communication modality at the service of Latin America's science, technology and innovation policies

The new Latin American edition of the 8th Reach & Turn science communication and dissemination workshop held in Uruguay from September 18 to 20, was organized by the United Nations University (UNU-MERIT), together with the Office for Sciences of UNESCO for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Training Center for Spanish Cooperation in Montevideo, received in Montevideo about thirty communicators and scientists from Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Recent partners include UNESCO, several UN Information Centers (UNIC), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Federation of Scientific Journalists (WFSJ), in addition to the Spanish Cooperation Training Center, host of this Last edition. Other institutions are the UNU-MERIT institutes of Germany (UNU-EHS), Ghana (UNU-INRA) and Malaysia (UNU-IIGH).

The initiative is part of the line of work of scientific communication that several national and cooperation institutions have carried out throughout the world since 2018, understanding that promoting actions of science and innovation in the region, contributes in a transversal and sustained way to the achievement of the 2030 International Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

"As a scientific educator I find it very necessary to meet with specialists from various disciplines to discuss how to improve the communication of sciences" shares Julieta Molinas, Doctor in Biology, in charge of the Education Area at the Cultural Center of Sciences Argentina, participant of the Workshop . For her, among the problems that science communication finds, there is the lack of dialogue between scientists, communicators and journalists, as well as the need for professionalization of the role of scientific communicator. He points out that other difficulties that Latin American scientific communicators are facing include the lack of fluidity in the elaboration of communication pieces, as well as the lack of actualization that scientific communicators have regarding the correct use of networks.

In the midst of these and other of the numerous informational challenges of the "post-truth era", as contextualized by UNU-MERIT, the institution that created the "Reach & Turn" format, this series of workshops promotes research-based narration, especially for the formulation of policies and the circulation of information in the media. Each workshop gives researchers, communicators and journalists the opportunity to improve their skills while they see how the "other side" works, thus strengthening other capabilities and creating networks. Indeed, for Daniel Toledo, in charge of institutional communication of the recently created Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation of Chile, also a participant in the workshop, it was an opportunity to: “know and share experiences of communication of science with professionals from different areas , institutions and disciplines. Although the realities and contexts are diverse, the diagnosis is similar and these exchanges allow us to take advantage of the lessons learned from other processes and initiatives. ”

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