South African COVID-19 Resource Portal – sacoronavirus.co.za

SciCOM hosts the South African Research Chair in Science Communication.

Following the allocation of a South African (DSI/NRF) Research Chair in Science Communication, Stellenbosch University has become an African hub for research and postgraduate training in science communication.

Book launch: Communicating Science: A Global Perspective

A new book ‘Communicating Science. A global perspective’ will be released on Monday 14 September 2020, and is available for free in PDF format.

The book encapsulates the first study describing how public science communication has developed around the world. It covers several diverse regions and cultures: advanced nations of Europe, Asia and the Americas, as well as emerging economies like Russia, Jamaica, Estonia, Iran and Pakistan. T

Two Stellenbosch academics at CREST are co-authors on two chapters.

‘Copy-paste science journalism’ common in South Africa

South African media outlets often republish science press releases almost verbatim as news without signalling that it wasn’t written by a journalist, a practice that could exacerbate public mistrust in science, a paper has found. The paper, published on 3 August in the South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research, compared 40 press releases published by four South African universities with 40 media articles based on the press releases. “We found that most press releases are republished with minimal journalistic input and no crediting of the original source,” write the three authors, who are based at Stellenbosch University.

Exploring a novel tool for sharing science

The days when people could read news about science only in their (printed) morning newspaper are gone forever. Today, scientists use online platforms and social media to make their work visible and to engage diverse audiences. As science communication experts, researchers at SU’s Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) are interested in interactions between scientists and society. These interactions include trends in the communication of science via traditional and online media.

Science communication scholars confront the “wicked” Covid-19 challenge

On Tuesday 26 May, the PCST (Public Communication of Science and Technology) Network invited all its members, as well as registered attendees of the postponed PCST 2020 Conference, to participate in the first of a series of online webinars. Science communication and the Covid-19 crisis was the topic of the day, with several speakers refereeing to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences as a “wicked” problem.