SciCOM hosts the South African Research Chair in Science Communication.

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

South Africa compels scientists to engage

There are specific factors in South Africa, linked to the country’s politics, cultural composition, bio-physical environment and socio-economic challenges, which compel scientists towards engaging with external audiences. Dr Marina Joubert explored these factors in her doctoral research on the factors that influence scientists’ public engagement behaviour. They are discussed in a new paper published in JCOM, an open-access science communication journal.

Building capacity in science communication

The 67 participants from across Africa who successfully completed the 2018 CREST online course in science communication will be receiving their certificates soon. The course, presented over six weeks, focused on the theory and practice of science communication, with a focus on the African context. It was co-presented by Dr Marina Joubert, Dr Lars Guenther and Professor George Claassen, with Rolene Langford as the course coordinator.

Understanding how rural South Africans perceive science

Science communication programmes often do not relate to the interests and expectations of their audiences, especially when audiences differ greatly with respect to their culture, education and experiences of science. Only if more is known about these audiences can effective science communication strategies be conceived.