Programme / Thematic session II./e No justice without knowledge – levelling the playing field for science journalism‹ back to Programme lister
Wednesday / 7 DEC
17:00 - 18:30
Covid revealed gaps in the science pipeline in vivid technicolour. Over the course of the pandemic, it became clear that how science is communicated makes an enormous difference to outcomes. As a result, alongside the COVID-19 pandemic was an infodemic of disinformation and misinformation, with dangerous myths impacting on behaviour and ultimately costing lives.
This session will look at how new technologies can be used to enhance social justice by giving people the knowledge they need to make informed, science-based decisions, especially in relation to health. It will result in a series of recommendations that will form the basis of a report to present to the World Science Forum, which could, with delegates' agreement, be used as a basis for a report to UNESCO, WHO and other parties.
Many countries in the Global North have science communicators and science journalists who are highly skilled and connected; in the Global South, this is not true for all countries. There is a dearth of funding for such skills; there are language deserts where the language of science is streets away from the language spoken by citizens; there is a lack of familiarity with the science world, especially in places where little research is happening.
The session will look at ways to reduce inequalities in science communication, with a particular focus on the role new technologies are playing in countering disinformation and misinformation, and communication methods that speak to people horizontally rather than top down. The panel will explore the new ways in which credible science news is reaching people across Africa and beyond, such as YouTube vlogs, podcasts and new forms of social media.
- Milica Momcilovic, President, World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ)
- Mandi Smallhorne, , South African Science Journalists Association
- Ogechi Ekeanyanwu, Regional Coordinator, Sub-Saharan Africa, SciDev.Net
- Lee Mwiti, Chief Editor, AfricaCheck