661   Insight talk

Science Communication in Egypt: Challenges and Opportunities

Author: Mohamed Daoud
The American University in Cairo, Egypt

The research field of science communication in Egypt is fairly neglected. The university system, with few exceptions, pays scant attention to the teaching of science communication, leading to limited academic knowledge of this research field and the absence of any compendiums covering the evolution of this discipline with its rich history and philosophical relations. Accordingly, this insight talk will be the first attempt to provide a deep reflection on science communication in Egypt.

Firstly, the talk will propose a timeline of the milestones that contributed to the science communication development in Egypt. Interestingly, in spite of its early and promising start around almost the same epoch as in the UK, it has witnessed numerous setbacks. The authors will draw the attention to these setbacks as a result of the economic and political upheaval suffered by the Egyptian society since the French colonisation in the 18th century. 

Surprisingly, Egypt has witnessed a true boom in the public communication of science in the last 9 years specially after the January revolution in 2010. The talk will focus on identifying the drivers that led to that sudden proliferation in the field during the last decade, highlighting the landscape of various science communication activities, in addition to the fundamental challenges to its sustainable growth due to the spread of pseudoscience and censorship in the media in one hand and the lack of vision, professional trainings, academic research, and funding on the other hand.  

Finally, the authors will mention all the prospected opportunities to improve communication of science under the umbrella of the recently established Science Communication National Network, funded by the government through its Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, and supported by The American University in Cairo.

Co-author: Mohamed Elsonbaty Ramadan
Freelance Science Journalist and Science Communication Consultant, Egypt

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