Programme / Promoting social justice through accessibility of language in science

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Monday / 5 DEC

11:30 - 13:00

Side event:
Promoting social justice through accessibility of language in science
Venue: Meeting Rooms 1.41-1.42

The COVID-19 pandemic is a quintessential example of the need for science to be accessible to all – irrespective of occupation (non-scientists, policymakers, the public), geographical location or resources.

Accessibility is measured not only by physical access to information – that is, internet access or open access, but by the readability of the language used and the understandability of the science. Even the most complex science can be understood by a very wide scope of readers if it is explained in an appropriate way.

The South African Journal of Science is a multidisciplinary journal published by the Academy of Science of South Africa. The mission of the Journal is to promote the visibility and impact of African research to readers in all scientific disciplines as well as to scholars, educators, the general public, and policymakers.

As a diamond open-access journal, there are no paywall barriers to submit to the Journal (no article processing charges) or to read the Journal (no subscriptions required). Unlike publications in most journals, authors are expected to write their articles in a style that will be understood by other scientists and non-specialists.

The objective of this session is to show why and how language could – and should – be used to make science more accessible. We shall describe the processes and activities through which the Journal’s editorial team has been in order to make the Journal more accessible, and will outline debates we have had along the way. Participants will gain an understanding of the importance of accessible language in promoting inclusion, diversity and equity in science.