Article

19/12/2008

The importance the Brazilian government has given in the last few years to the dissemination of science points out the necessity of a more discerning analysis about the establishment of this subject on the public agenda and the related public policies undertaken. This work tries to contribute to the debate as an inquiry about the policies to popularize and disseminate Science and Technology (S&T) established by the Science and Technology Popularization and Dissemination Department, which was created in 2004. In order to do so, theoretical references from Public Policy Analysis, the Studies of Science, Technology and Society (SSTS), and Public Communication of Science are used. Furthermore, we analyze some of the results from research on Science and Technology Understanding carried out in Brazil in 2006. As a final point, this associated approach aims at identifying some of the limiting factors related to science dissemination actions in Brazil.

19/12/2008

In a refereed journal in the food and agriculture sector, papers were tracked over a five-year period during the introduction of electronic submissions. Papers originated in the Americas and Pacific region and were processed in Canada. Acceptance times for revised papers were reduced (P < 0.001) to 59% of the original, from 156.5 ± 69.1 days to 92.8 ± 57.5 days. But the start of electronic submission coincided with a change in the geographical origin of papers, with papers from Anglophone countries changing from a 61% majority to a 42% minority. It is possible that submissions from non-Anglophone sources were facilitated, thus creating challenges to the traditional Anglophone reviewer population.

19/09/2008

Global changes such as urbanisation, new ways of travelling, new information and communication technologies are causing radical changes in the relationships between human beings and the environment we are both a part of and depend on. Relationships which – according to a multiplicity of researches in various fields – are crucially important. Science education and the language of science risk exacerbating a tendency towards objectifying nature and inhabiting a virtual reality, thereby rendering ever more tenuous the dialogue between people and the natural world. This article examines two approaches to science and language – as products or as processes – and suggests how awareness of the dynamic relationship between language and knowledge can help restore that vital dialogue.

19/09/2008

Oficina Desafio, Challenge Workshop, is a project of UNICAMP Exploratory Science Museum – the Science Center of the State University of Campinas (Brazil). It is an outreach project, consisting of a fully - equipped mobile workshop constructed on a truck, which visits schools and gives the students open solution real problems challenging them to “design, construct and operate a device” capable of solving the challenge. Analysis of the evaluation forms answered by school students reveals that participants of the challenges perceive it as a “learning opportunity”, in the sense they identify school related capabilities as conditions that increase the chance of facing the challenges successfully.

19/09/2008

Science magazines have an important role in disseminating scientific knowledge into the public sphere and in discussing the broader scope affected by scientific research such as technology, ethics and politics. Student-run science magazines afford opportunities for future scientists, communicators, politicians and others to practice communicating science. The ability to translate ‘scientese’ into a jargon-free discussion is rarely easy: it requires practice, and student magazines may provide good practice ground for undergraduate and graduate science students wishing to improve their communication skills.

20/06/2008

Basing mainly on author's direct involvement in some science communication efforts in India, and other reports, this contribution depicts and analyses the present science communication/ popularization scenario in India. It tries to dispel a myth that rural people don't require or don’t crave for S&T information. It discusses need for science and technology communication, sustaining curiosity and creating role models. Citing cases of some natural, 'unnatural' and organized events, it recounts how S&T popularization efforts have fared during the past decade and a half. It's made possible using print, AV and interactive media which, at times, require lot of financial inputs. However, this contribution shows that a number of natural and other phenomena can be used to convince people about power of S&T and in molding their attitude. The cases cited may be from India, but, with a little variation, are true for most of the developing and under- developed societies.

20/06/2008

The rapid spread of technologies involving the application of “Genetic Modification (GM)” raised the need for science communication on this new technology in society. To consider the communication on GM in the society, an understanding of the current mass media is required. This paper shows the whole picture of newspaper discourses on GM in Japan. For the Japanese public, newspapers represent one of the major sources of information on GM. We subjected the two Japanese newspapers with the largest circulation, the Asahi Shimbun and Yomiuri Shimbun, to an analysis of the full text of approximately 4000 articles on GM published over the past to perform an assessment of the change of reportage on GM. As for the most important results, our analysis shows that there are two significant shifts with respect to the major topics addressed in articles on GM by Japanese newspapers.

20/06/2008

This article presents an example of how a public science party was evaluated. The main goals of the science party, to increase the positive image of science and present an attractive science event, were evaluated in two ways. First, web surveys were used to determine the image of science before and after the event among paying visitors, invited guests, and a control group (N = 149). Second, during the event, visitors were interviewed about their experiences at the event (N = 124). The survey study showed that the image of science was very positive among all three groups of respondents. As no differences were found between pre- and post-tests, participation in the event did not lead to a more positive image of science. The results of the interviews suggested that visitors highly appreciated the event. In the Discussion, the evaluation study is analyzed and possibilities/limitations for future general use are discussed.

21/03/2008

The overseas internship programme offered at Tokyo Institute of Technology as part of the science communication curriculum is highly significant, as it prompts graduate students to acquire new skills and awareness levels, including an enhanced meta-level understanding of the importance and complexity of human communications. The capacity to correlate and respond on-site in human interaction can be gradually cultivated during the internship as students experience diverse communication environments. Moreover, the exposure to different organisational, cultural and social environments helps develop a more international outlook. As a result of the initial experience described in this paper, TiTech has adopted internships as an important part of the educational tool-kit to produce scientists and engineers who can play an active role at the global level using their acquired technical knowledge and broad practical capabilities.

21/03/2008

This article offers a 1953-present day review of the models that have popularised DNA, one of the fundamental molecules of biochemistry. DNA has become an iconic concept over the 20th century, overcoming the boundaries of science and spreading into literature, painting, sculpture or religion. This work analyses the reasons why DNA has penetrated society so effectively and examines some of the main metaphors used by the scientists and scientific popularisers. Furthermore, this article, taken from the author's PhD thesis, describes some recent popularisation models for this molecule.

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