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Today, we hear from project partner Luisa Massarani. She is the Coordinator for Latin America for SciDev.Net, a world-leading source of reliable and authoritative news, views, and analysis about science and technology for global development. SciDev’s mission is to use independent journalism to help individuals and organisations apply science to decision-making in order to drive equitable, sustainable development and poverty reduction. SciDev.Net is part of CAB International (CABI) – a not-for-profit organisation that improves people’s lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. SciDev.Net is a member of the GlobaSCAPE consortium.

When mapping a global picture of science communication and giving more space to lesser-heard voices outside of Europe, GlobalSCAPE doesn’t evolve in a void: it contributes to existing discussions and practices that constitute the scicomm sphere all around the world. One of the other actors evolving in this sphere is PCST, the international network of Public Communication of Science and Technology.

The PCST Network seeks to promote new ideas, methods, intellectual and practical questions, and perspectives on the communication of science and technology.

In the words of Luisa Massarani, the PCST Network aims specifically to:

  • improve theoretical understanding of science communication by providing a forum for the latest developments
  • advance the practice of science communication through a platform to consider strategies and methods
  • promote exchange between practitioners and theoreticians, to boost the development of both the study and practice of science communication.

Members of the PCST Network come from a range of backgrounds covering both the theory and practice of scicomm: researchers, comms staff in research organisations, science centres & museums professionals, science journalists, scientific ethics & philosophy students, writers & editors, web designers, and even artists working with science themes. The PCST Network is managed by a Scientific Committee of which members are elected every two years at the general meeting held at the bi-annual PCST Conference.

A worldwide data base of programmes and courses in science communication

The PCST Network and GlobalSCAPE recently agreed on a collaboration within the scope of the PCST Teaching Forum, a part of the PCST Network which is an international network of science communication lecturers at undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. levels.

Both GlobalSCAPE and the PCST Teaching Forum aim to understand and support science communication teaching around the globe. Therefore, this partnership is mutually beneficial for both organisations.

This collaboration can be useful at different levels for the science communication ecosystem, in particular for an academic field as young as science communication.

The worldwide database is an initiative that was already launched before the agreement and will require systematic updates. As the research project is being carried out, two joint papers are planned for submission before the end of GlobaSCAPE.

The Teaching Forum aims to provide a network of support for people involved in teaching science communication. We agreed to work together on a worldwide database of programmes and courses in science communication, as well as a research project on worldwide master programmes in science communication.

Indeed, the database can support those involved in a course or educational programme to find other stakeholders to exchange ideas with and collaborate, but it is equally useful for those individuals and institutions that want to create new programmes to find inspiration in other existing models and to develop activities adapted to their context. Not to mention it is a convenient tool for individuals who want to enrol in a programme or course in science communication to find the perfect fit.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101006436.