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.

Build your #scicomm skills with this Stellenbosch University online course

The annual online science communication course at Stellenbosch University in South Africa provides an opportunity for science communication professionals (or those aiming to move into this field) to develop and build their careers. The course provides an introduction to science communication theory and practice, as well as an overview of current trends and challenges related to public science engagement.

Public science engagement with star power

A global survey of astronomers shows that they are intensely involved in public outreach, much more so than other scientists. And, astronomers engage with the public in most cases simply because they love doing it. This research by Martin Bauer and Marta Entradas, both at the London School of Economics, was published in Nature Astronomy recently.

A dinner date between science and society

Science theatre can be an effective way to engage people in science and encourage debate about contested topics rooted in science. Also, researchers around the world are interested in the use of science theatre (and other science-art linkages) as tools for science communication. That is why we produced a short piece of science theatre to perform during the ‘SciCOM 100 conference’ that took place during November 2018 in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Research to understand anti-vaccine views

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified ten threats to global health for 2019. In the light of growing concerns about the global increase in outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, the organisation has included “vaccine hesitancy” on this list of health threats. The WHO defines vaccine hesitancy as “the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines” – adding that this trend threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases.