Scientists have wonderful stories to tell and important information to share. The services and training on offer at Southern Science are designed to help scientists, engineers, media officers and research managers to share their work effectively with audiences ranging from young people and farmers to funders and policy makers.
Having trained as a scientist (MSc in agricultural science from University of Pretoria) and a journalist (Graduate programme in journalism at Stellenbosch University) combining science and communication is my passion. I work for several universities, science councils and industry organisations across Africa and often partner with international organisations such as Unesco and SciDev.Net in science communication projects. I am an executive member of the South African Science Journalism Association and a member of the international PCST (Public Communication of Science and Technology) scientific committee.
As a part-time lecturer at Stellenbosch University (Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology) I will be offering short courses in science communication at training centres across Africa. I'm also working with the Nairobi-based Training Centre in Communication to develop and present science communication courses tailor-made for African scientists.
I am particularly excited about the annual "New Voices in Science" project at Stellenbosch University where I team up with science writer Leonie Joubert to equip PhD candidates to write and speak about their work for a general audience. It's a bit like "science idols" (or Famelab. We start off with a large group of students and, following some training, we select the most promising public speakers and writers. We then help them to shape a public talk and/or popular article. The best speakers take part in a prestigious PhD colloquium attended by friends and funders of the university, including their own friends and family members.
Science communication events I'm looking forward to ...
8th World Conference of Science Journalists, 24 – 28 June 2013, Helsinki, Finland
PCST 2014 in Brazil, 5 - 8 May 2014, Salvador-Brazil – watch the video