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Filter by keyword: Science communication in the developing world

Publications including this keyword are listed below.

Aug 21, 2023 Essay
Looking back to launch forward: a self-reflexive approach to decolonising science education and communication in Africa

by Temilade Sesan and Ayodele Ibiyemi

The imbalance in the global scientific landscape resulting from the enduring legacy of colonialism in the south and the hegemony of scientific paradigms originating in the north is immense. Our paper makes a case for employing traditional knowledge systems and paradigms as tools for redressing this imbalance in African societies. To achieve this goal, the paper argues, scholars and science communicators must actively pursue a radical, “power-literate” agenda of scientific decolonisation on the continent. Central to this mission is the need for scholars to be equipped with a keen sense of the past — including an understanding of what worked for knowledge production and perpetuation in pre-colonial African societies — without which science education and communication in those societies will remain untethered from the realities of the present and their visions for the future. Concurrently, attention must be given to nurturing home-grown paradigms and platforms for research in higher education that are rigorous yet unencumbered by the age-long tendency to refract African experiences through northern lenses.

Volume 22 • Issue 04 • 2023

Aug 21, 2023 Essay
Response to: “Looking back to launch forward: a self-reflexive approach to decolonising science education and communication in Africa”. Recognizing and validating multiple knowledge ecologies

by Fabien Medvecky, Jennifer Metcalfe and Michelle Riedlinger

This is a response to Sesan and Ibiyemi's essay [2023], which rightly urges “scholars and science communicators” to resist the colonial legacy of science in African countries. The essay argues that northern paradigms, focused on science as the only true form of knowledge, need to be replaced with functional Indigenous knowledge systems. However, the authors adopt the framework of the global north when reimagining and advocating for a radical ‘power literate’ agenda thus confounding knowledge with science, and education with science communication. These approaches obscure the fundamental importance of reimagining power dynamics in a world of multiple epistemologies. Instead, we propose that ‘knowledge communicators’ facilitate a multi-knowledge world through participatory processes.

Volume 22 • Issue 04 • 2023

Jul 31, 2023 Article
Besieged from all sides: impediments to science journalism in a developing country and their global implications

by Minh Tran and An Nguyen

Despite high expectations of their normative roles in development processes, Vietnamese science journalists interviewed for this research essay find it extrememly hard to enact such roles, facing an uphill battle to establish science as a legitimate news beat. This results from a diverse set of internal impediments (particularly a science-unfriendly news culture and low ethical standards) and external obstacles, including political control and low cooperation of local scientists. Placing these findings in the wider context, we demonstrate that Vietnam illuminates many troublesome characteristics of science journalism in the Global South and make some recommendations for improving the status quo.

Volume 22 • Issue 04 • 2023

Jun 28, 2023 Editorial
Reflecting and Renewing to Strengthen JCOM

by Michelle Riedlinger and Marina Joubert

During June 2023, we met with the JCOM editorial board members to reflect on the current status of the journal and strategies for future growth. This editorial provides a snapshot of our position and plans.

Volume 22 • Issue 04 • 2023

Dec 19, 2022 Article
Debunking strategies for misleading bar charts

by Winnifred Wijnker, Ionica Smeets, Peter Burger and Sanne Willems

Graphs are useful to communicate concisely about complex issues. Although they facilitate intuitive reading of data, trends, and predictions, hasty readers may still come to the wrong conclusions, especially if graphs are misleading due to violated design conventions. To provide evidence about how to prevent misinformation from spreading by misleading graphs, this two-survey experimental study investigates the effectiveness of four correction methods as debunking strategies to correct bar charts with manipulated vertical axes. All four methods showed positive effects. The most effective one is aimed at correcting the initial image by presenting an accurate alternative graph. A reduced effect remained visible after one week.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022

Nov 07, 2022 Commentary
Research in science communication in Latin America: mind the gap

by Luisa Massarani and Thaiane de Oliveira

In this commentary, we discuss the challenges associated with carrying out research in science communication in Latin America. We start with the ‘‘invisibility’’ of Latin American studies in the three most prominent international journals in the field (although there has been a growing number of studies in the region). Then, we look to the recent popularisation of science through social media, the political issues facing the region and the massive spread of disinformation and fake news, which has been widely accentuated by the pandemic. We argue that there is an urgent need but also opportunities for innovation and collaborative research in science communication. Finally, we call attention to how the present situation might lead to bigger gaps among researchers from the developing world, including Latin America, and the so-called developed world.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022

Sep 12, 2022 Conference Review
‘SciComPt 2022’: stop, listen and act — reflect on the past to build the future

by Cristina Luís

During the Covid-19 pandemic the world faced enormous challenges demanding immediate responses. As a result, public communication of science assumed unprecedented prominence. Now, we need to stop, listen and act. This was the motto of the 10th Annual Congress of Science Communication in Portugal — SciComPt 2022. The meeting provided participants with exactly that — an opportunity to reflect on the past and help build the future of science communication in Portugal.

Volume 21 • Issue 06 • 2022

Aug 22, 2022 Article
Increasingly polarised or finding common ground? Exploring pro- and anti-vaccine rhetoric on two South African Facebook pages

by Karien Connoway, Hannah Keal, Milandré van Lill and Marina Joubert

We investigated pro- and anti-vaccine rhetoric on two South African Facebook pages to identify the nature, sources and justifications of the vaccine-related claims published on these pages. Our dataset consisted of 440 Facebook posts made by page administrators during 2019. Statements related to the safety and necessity of vaccines dominated the pro-vaccine page, while the anti-vaccine page focussed primarily on claims about the dangers of vaccines. Posts on both pages frequently contained content shared from within Facebook, with much of the content originating from the United States. Both pages made equal use of scientific justifications (i.e. published journal articles) to support claims, and most of these articles were published in accredited journals. The authors hope that a better understanding of the nature, sources and justifications of pro- and anti-vaccine rhetoric may lead to more constructive dialogue about vaccines, including the ongoing debate about COVID-19 vaccines.

Volume 21 • Issue 05 • 2022

Jul 18, 2022 Book Review
Scratching an itch: a new perspective on health communication in Africa

by Greer Van Zyl

At last, a compilation of essays that provide fascinating insights into Health Communication and Disease in Africa. Falade and Murire (eds.) have produced a volume which needed to be written and will delight those with an interest in health and science communication, public health, social and behaviour change, and theoretical approaches to health communication. Broad themes cover stigma, beliefs and traditions, and rethinking approaches to health communication. A key element is the effort to bridge ‘classical’ approaches to health communication and behaviour change with indigenous knowledge systems of people in Africa.

Volume 21 • Issue 05 • 2022

Jul 12, 2022 Book Review
Elusive science cultures

by Padraig Murphy

The latest in a growing number of edited volumes that take science communication as a phenomenon to be explored through science cultures is a rich book full of theoretical and methodological rigour. There are 17 chapters included here from 33 authors across 16 different countries containing selected paper contributions from the 2018 Science & You conference in Beijing jointly organised by the Chinese National Academy of Innovation Strategy and the University of Lorraine, France. With an opening address by Massimiano Bucchi, chapters are arranged thematically, with emphasis on the roles of institutions, state and media in the social dynamics and public understandings of science and technology across global cultures.

Volume 21 • Issue 05 • 2022