1091   Visual presentation

Science Communication Lab - Transforming practice through an exercise of collective intelligence

Author: Rocio Ramirez
Clemente Estable Biological Research Institute, Uruguay

Although science communication is gaining attention and value globally, in many countries of Latin America there is no formal training. Most opportunities are virtual, strongly academic, costly, and for people already working in the fields implied.

I would like to present a training cycle we are developing in Uruguay at the Spanish International Cooperation Agency (AECID) Training Centre since 2018, the “Science Communication Lab” whose characteristics make it worth sharing and replicating in other countries:

1. it’s interinstitutional, interdisciplinary and focused on cooperation and public policy; 2. it occurs out of academia but is organized and led by professional science communicators and advocates from academia (I lead it with journalists, researchers and politics); 3. it rapidly gained the support of educational, cultural and political organizations:  Unesco, OEI, ANII, Science and Technology National Secretary 4. It sparked huge interest from the public: first edition convoked 120 students from several countries; 5. Topics start with the basic theory and history of science communication while being reflective, dialogic and practice centered; therefore, topics and formats are dynamic, evaluated and changed based on the results, social trends and public agenda, and range from basic outreach tips or social communication strategies to making viral videos on Tik Tok.

This training model is different because it specifically considers public policy and confronts different “working realities” to put intelligences into dialogue and collective practice.  

It has growing impact in the academic field since most students are academics and have written outreach pieces for local media, which in turn attracted other researchers for the next editions. We know it’s political impact because many public agencies related to CTI and education stated it, have participated or want to take part in the future. Finally, AECID itself and the partner organizations are already planning to organize a third regional edition.

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