942   Roundtable discussion

Miles away and we still have a lot in common: the origins of modern science communication in Ibero-America

For centuries, common language made it easier for Spain and Latin American countries to share stories in the media. This has increased in the current era, since digital media in Spanish have a wide spread throughout the Spanish-speaking world, regardless of the country where it originated. The same could be said of Portugal and Brazil, with their common language. The language is clearly a common link that unites communication in geographically remote countries, but it is not the only link that unites Ibero-American countries.

Science communication in Portugal and Spain is, in many cases, closer to that of countries such as Brazil, Colombia or Mexico, than that of many of the countries belonging to the European Union, closer geographically, monetarily and politically. Ibero-America is not a geographical concept (the distance between some countries exceeds 12.600 miles!) but a concept that has a lot to do with language and culture, as well as with history. The birth of modern science communication in the different countries that make up this conceptual region holds many elements in common, many personal stories of communication pioneers who exercised their influence in other countries, of professional associations that served as reference to others, of publications with international authors etc.

This panel explains the convergences and divergences in the origins of the modern science communication of five Ibero-American countries: Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Portugal and Spain. It will start by presenting a combined timeline of milestones and close with an outlook into the challenges and possibilities for the region.The four speakers proposed for this panel and the two co-chairs represent a group of 18 authors, who have written the chapters of their countries in the joint work for a book on the history of modern science communication in the world, edited by Toss Gascoigne and published by ANUPress in 2020.

Author: Gema Revuelta
Studies Center of Science, Communication and Society and Master of Science, Health and Environmental Communication (Pompeu Fabra University), Spain

The development of modern science communication in Spain is the result of numerous individual events (both great and small) participated in by many people (some famous and others completely unknown) and countless activities (some meticulously planned and others completely random). Gema Revuelta will comment on the chapter about the history of modern science communication in Spain wrote in co-authorship with Vladimir de Semir and Carolina Llorente and how the evolution of Science Communication in Spain cannot be understood without paying attention to the relationship with the rest of European Union countries, as well as its close connections with Latin American countries, with whom Spain shares a huge number of cultural elements (and a language with most of them). Revuelta will start the discussion round answering some questions: In which context occurred the boom of science communication in your country? Did it have anything to do with the dynamics occurring in other regions? Has the development of the region exerted an influence in the evolvement of science communication in your country? Has the rise of the internet influenced the interconnection between Iberoamerican countries?

Speaker: Luisa Massarani
National Institute of Public Communication of Science and Technology-Brazil, Brazil

Luisa Massarani will base her participation on the debate on an overview of the science communication field in Brazil. She will discuss the principal scopes and tools for science communication: science centres and museums, mass media and large public events for communicating science and technology (S&T) and how such activities have had a significant breakthrough in Brazil and have connected to Latin-American networks. She will also comment on the long way to go in order to deliver a quality and extensive S&T communication to Brazilians as well as achieve a suitable level of social appropriation of knowledge on S&T. Massarani will feed the panel by commenting on a name that repeatedly appears in the chapters of the book: Manuel Calvo Hernando, a Spanish man that is considered "one of the founders of science journalism in Latin-America". What is the speakers' opinion on his impact on the public communication of science on each country? And speaking about names, what are the main characters in the science communication of the country? Are they the same for all five countries? Are universities and research centres playing a central role?

Speaker: Sandra Daza-Caicedo
Independent researcher, expert in Social Appropriation of Science, Technology and Innovation, Colombia

Sandra Daza-Caicedo will provide the discussion with some findings presented in the chapter about the history of science communication in Colombia, wrote in co-authorship with Luisa Barbosa, Tania Arboleda-Castrillón and Marcela Lozano-Borda. She will analyse the guiding questions from the Colombian point of view, describing the activities, policies and academic discussions in that country during the last 60 years and the reciprocal influences with other Ibero-American countries. In addition, she will present the debate around the local concept of social appropriation of science and technology which aim to emphasize the fact that science communication is linked to socioeconomic context, social actors and their conflicts, political processes and different comprehensions about what science and technology mean. In that line, Daza-Caicedo will start exploring the current status of the science of science communication in Ibero-America. For instance, how has the language in the field evolved? Is it closer in America than in Spain/Portugal? Is it closer in Spanish than in Portuguese?

Speaker: Elaine Reynoso Haynes
Dirección General de divulgación de la ciencia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico

Elaine Reynoso will discuss how the field of science communication has grown and expanded in Mexico since the pioneer years in the late 1960 ́s, in which it was a voluntary activity very much centralized in the main city. The discussion will glimpse in a wide range of programs, activities and science museums and centres throughout the country as well as the role of full-time professional science communicators. She will expand the discussion by covering other activities from the community of science communicators, such as training, research, evaluation, curricula design and management, and how they touch upon other countries in the region. Finally, Elaine will comment that, in spite of this apparent success, there are still several challenges which must be faced in order to strengthen the field of science communication and to achieve the much needed recognition. This thoughts will serve a closing remarks, considering What would are the main challenge for PCS in each ountry nowadays and how could the power of a region speaking the same or similar languages and sharing a history be exploited (or is exploited) for the sake of science communication.

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