ACPCT celebrates its first year in promoting public communication of science

16 December 2002 A group of Argentinian science journalists and science communication experts from Villa Mercedes in San Luis province have spent the past year promoting the public communication of science and technology through their own association.

The fledgling Asociación para la Comunicación de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (ACPCT), founded in November 2001, has initiated projects to analyse the representation of the sciences in the Latin American media (press, television and radio); it has also studied science communication in local and regional contexts. All of the projects have received sponsorship and funding.

ACPCT is committed to fostering quality science journalism. One means towards this end is science communication courses in universities, which they plan to organize. Another is research. ACPCT has begun researching science journalism in the region, as well as public comprehension of science and the relations between science journalism, science communication and education. The ethical risks and social responsibility of science journalism are another of its concerns.

In the area of science popularisation, ACPCT is interacting with non-profit organizations, state bodies, science departments, universities and all other relevant institutions.

Paragraph 41 of the Science Agenda stresses that ‘governments, international organizations and relevant professional institutions should enhance or develop programmes for the training of scientific journalists, communicators and all those involved in increasing public awareness of science.’

The Science Agenda recommends that an international programme on promotion of scientific literacy and culture accessible to all be considered in order to provide appropriate technology and scientific inputs in an easily understandable form that are conducive to the development of local communities.

National authorities and funding institutions are urged to promote the role of science museums and centres as important elements in public education in science (para. 42).

ACPCT is interested in exchanging experiences on common initiatives within the large Ibero-American family.

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