EcolChange seminar on 16th of February – Marju Himma about communicating science

Seminar of the Centre of Excellence EcolChange

Researcher and PhD student of media and communication at University of Tartu and Editor in Chief of Estonian Public Broadcasting, Marju Himma, will give a talk titled:

Communicating science

Time: Thursday, 16. February 2017 at 15.15

Place: Tartu, Lai 40-218 (Vaga auditorium)

marju-himma

Marju himma (on the left) doing her daily job of communicating science (pic from here)

Summary:

1) Triangulation of information between science, public sphere and policy makers. In the age of information/data overload the decision-making is getting more complex, which presents a challenge in communicating science in public and policy makers. Otherwise we face the situation of “alternative facts”, misleading information and poor decision making on all levels. One of the solutions in this situation is:

2) Empowerment of scientists and researchers in communication. I bring some examples where the voice of the scientists is essentially needed: Reaching the goal of 1 %of GDP in Estonian state budget was set in 2014, but in 2017 it was 0.86%; the transition of science and research into knowledge based society in Estonia is poor compared to e.g. Finland or other Scandinavian countries; people are making everyday decisions based on pseudo-scientific or fabricated information.

Advocacy is the buzzword we hear in political communication, journalism etc., but there are not too many examples in science and research. This places scientists in the position where their voice is less heard both in public and in the process of policy making. Therefore we need to empower scientists and researchers to communicate directly to public in order to change the previous examples.

3) In the light of the previous two statements I propose five practical suggestions for efficient science communication.

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