Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS)

One-Day Seminar on Science Journalism

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The Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in South (COMSATS) in partnership with the ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) organized a one-day Seminar on ‘Science Communication and Journalism’, on April 8, 2014 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The Federal Secretary, Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Government of Pakistan, Dr. Nazir Saeed presided over the inaugural ceremony of the Seminar, which had participation of over 70 media representatives, scientists, faculty members of media sciences, university students, web-based forums, and officials of COMSATS Headquarters and ECO Science Foundation.

Speaking at the inauguration, Dr. Saeed urged the Pakistani national media to devote at least five per cent of their media space to project science and technology research and advancements to create a culture of science in the country. He opined that national media can play an important role in building scientific culture among the masses by sensitizing them about the scientific and technological advancements and their impact on the life of a common man. He pledged his Ministry’s support to any initiatives proposed in this regard.

The Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, and the President ECOSF, Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro, highlighted the importance of the theme of the event in their addresses during the ceremony. Sharing the scope and modus operandi of his organization for promoting science for sustainable development, Dr. Qureshi informed that COMSATS has been engaged in various activities of fundamental importance to the working scientists, including repair and maintenance of scientific equipment at laboratory facilities of educational and research organizations. The work of scientific institutions, he believed, mostly remains under-reported, which is discouraging for the scientific organizations based in Pakistan. Noting the inadequate coverage of science related activities in the local media, he stressed creating triangular relationship between the scientists, journalists and public for effectively communicating the benefits of science and technology to society. On similar lines, Dr. Soomro considered the seminar an important initiative for starting a campaign in the subject area, which has been overlooked for a long time. He called for institutional arrangements involving relevant stakeholders, especially scientific and academic organizations in Pakistan, in order to encourage science journalism in the country. He further noted that there is a silver lining to the situation due to sporadic efforts of some individuals. He urged Dr. Saeed for the Government’s support to such initiatives and their follow-ups.

The three technical sessions of the event covered the fundamentals of Science Journalism, contemporary issues and the role of various media for science communication. Chief Editor monthly ‘Global Science’, Karachi, Mr. Aleem Ahmed; and Editorial Consultant Express Tribune, Mr. M. Khalid Rahman, delivered keynote lectures on the basics of science writings and communication. Other presenters of the event included: Freelance Science Journalist, Mr. Ameen Amjad Khan; Lecturer Fatima Jinnah Women University, Mrs. Saadia Ishtiaq Nauman; Editor weekly Technology Times, Pakistan, and CEO TechTV, Mr. Sayyed Paras Ali; and Mr. Iqbal Jamil, Director Institute of Communication and Media Studies, Ziauddin University, Karachi (Pakistan). These presentations explored ways to promoting science through the existing means and knowledge resources; the need for curriculum development for Science Journalism and the electronic media’s role in the advocacy of science.

The seminar also included speakers from Italy, and USA via Skype. Speaking from Italy, Mr. Edward W. Lempinen, Public Information Officer at The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), talked about science policy, diplomacy and education in the developing world, and acknowledged the invaluable contributions of the eminent Pakistani scientist and Nobel Laureate, Dr. Abdus Salam towards the uplift of science in the developing world. Ms. Joanne Manaster, Faculty Lecturer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, highlighted the multi-faceted role of social media in driving change in modern-day science. Ms. Shireen Gul, Copy-editor of a student newspaper, TechNews of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), USA, made a presentation on ‘Science Journalism for Social Media’.

The event concluded with a roundtable discussion on a high note of appreciation from the speakers and the participants. Dr. Anwar Nasim, Secretary General, Pakistan Academy of Sciences, made a candid analysis of the situation of the Science Journalism in Pakistan and called for a thrust to sensitize media houses to project science and scientists. Moderated by the Executive Director COMSATS, the discussions made by the speakers and participants called for: unrelenting follow-ups on the recommendations of the seminar; necessary training for scientists to write in terms comprehensible by the public at large; greater involvement of academia at all levels in developing a scientific culture through journalism; and collaboration among scientists and journalists to furnish write-ups with authentic and accurate yet simplified and relatable scientific information for the masses.

An important pledge made during the discussion related to the formulation of a Science Journalist Association of Pakistan, the participants pledged to immediately initiate work to make such an institutional arrangement possible, and COMSATS agreed to provide patronage to the online presence of such a forum, directed towards building capacities of Science writers, reporters and journalists.

Upcoming Events

Nov
26
Mon
2018
Workshop on Metrology for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Gebze Kocaeli, Turkey
Nov 26 – Nov 27 all-day

[ Brochure ] [ Registration Form ]

BACKGROUND

The important role of the Quality Infrastructure, comprised of metrology, standardization, accreditation and certification institutions, in the process of socio-economic development of countries cannot be overemphasized. They provide a critically important technical foundation for industrial development and global trade, and functioning national measurement systems support in increasing industrial productivity and enhancement of product quality for international markets.

Many developing countries, particularly Least Developed Countries (LDCs), do not have adequate quality infrastructures, which limits their economic development prospects as products and services fail to meet the demands of domestic and international customers as well as requirements imposed by mandatory regulations. A component of this problem is that these countries lack the requisite technical expertise and knowledge concerning the development, operation and maintenance of metrology facilities, which technically underpin all other functions of the quality infrastructure.

There is, therefore, an urgent need to intensify efforts for capacity building of relevant organizations in the developing countries in order to enhance their expertise and upgrade their infrastructure in the area of metrology, thereby also spurring development in other areas of the quality infrastructure and ultimately facilitating industrial development, growth in trade and a rise in societal well-being.

INTRODUCTION

Keeping the above in view, the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS); and the TUBITAK National Metrology Institute (TUBITAK UME), Turkey; are jointly organizing a two-day workshop on Metrology for the Least Developed Countries.

The workshop will be held on 26 – 27 November 2018 (Monday-Tuesday), which will be hosted by the TUBITAK National Metrology Institute in Gebze, Turkey.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The primary objective of the workshop is to enhance the knowledge-base, expertise and capacity of the institutions working in the field of metrology in the least developed countries, as well as to prepare roadmaps towards addressing their needs to develop metrology infrastructures with the capability of supporting their economies.

The workshop shall also facilitate the building of regional and international partnerships for the sharing of approaches and best practices in the field of metrology.

FORMAT

The workshop will include technical presentations by relevant subject experts and scientists belonging to LDCs, Member States of COMSATS and international development organizations, as well as discussion sessions and laboratory visits.

TARGETED INDIVIDUALS

The focus of the workshop is on the least developed countries, particularly those that are also members of COMSATS, namely Bangladesh, Gambia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

The policy makers, scientists and experts in the field of metrology belonging to the least developed countries and the Member States of COMSATS, as well as representatives of relevant international development organizations and donor agencies are invited to participate in the event.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Partial or full financial support will be provided to selected foreign participants from LDCs and Member States of COMSATS.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT

Mr. Omer Altan
Head of International Relations Department
TUBITAK UME
Barış Mah. Dr. Zeki Acar Cad. No:1
41470 Gebze, Kocaeli, Turkey
Tel: 90 262 679 50 00 ext. 2901
Email: omer.altan@tubitak.gov.tr

Mr. Farhan Ansari
Sr. Assistant Director (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters,
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, Sector G-5/2,
Islamabad, Pakistan.
Tel: +92 51 9214515-7 ext. 209
Email: farhan@comsats.org

Mar
11
Mon
2019
Workshop on Water Resources: Expected Crises and Strategies of Predomination, at National Research Centre, Egypt
Mar 11 – Mar 12 all-day

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