The next highlight of the Einstein Forum West Africa-Ghana Celebration with the Seminar on the Art of Science Communication


The Next Einstein Forum (NEF) culminated the celebration of Africa Science Week 2022 by hosting “The Art of Science Communication” at the auditorium of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Ghana (CSIR-STEPRI), in Accra on Thursday, June 2, 2022.

This year’s Africa Science Week, the NEF’s flagship programme, recognized the need to address the challenges that hinder people’s ability to understand science through effective communication.

Welcoming the participants, the Director of the Council for Scientific Research and Innovation – (CSIR-STEPRI) Dr Ms. Wilhelmina Quaye used the case study of German scientist Albert Einstein to highlight the importance of communication, especially at the era of Covid-19.

“He (Albert Einstein) was outspoken. Why is this important? Covid has taught us the importance of communication. What about bridging the gap between the scientific community and the non-scientific community? How do we use non-scientific knowledge? Do we use social networks to communicate? What if we used scientific language to fight fake news? We need to strengthen our position by better communicating science and better achieving the SDGs.

In a welcoming remark, NEF Ambassador Justina Onumah could not hide her delight at the success of this year’s Africa Science Week in West Africa, Ghana edition

“We believe the next Einstein will be an African, so we do this by involving young people. We aim to leverage science for our development through our Ambassadors, Fellows, the NEF Global Gathering and the NEF Policy Institute.

“We had the West African edition. We had Spotlight week, followed by movie night, climate change research week, women in science week, and today is the latest event. “

Giving an overview of science communication, a neuroscientist at the University of Ghana and GhScientific, Dr. Thomas Tagoe highlighted the importance of communication saying that good things happen when the scientific community engages the public. He talked about developing a communication framework, analyzing the scientific scene and suggested ways to communicate scientific research, for example through online webinars and what he called scientific street evangelism.

Gameli Adzaho from Just One Giant Lab gave a practical guide on “Science Communication in Practice” and pointed out that science communication is not the same as scholarly communication. He emphasized the need for clarity in science communication by first analyzing its target audience and presenting facts and key messages in simple terms.

Sampson Kofi Adotey of the AIMS Next Einstein Initiative (NEI) engaged attendees in a presentation titled Tell Your Story: A Media Guide for Scientists. Adotey spoke about the need for scientists to understand media and see media as partners.

“Scientists have the misconception that the media can spin the story and end your career,” he said before adding, “But that’s not the case. People like Steve Hawkings have all tried to leverage the media and build trust in science. The media should be seen as a partner. There is a way to make the media work for you without damaging your reputation. You can involve your communications department whenever you receive a media request.

The presentations elicited some reactions from the distinguished guests and participants.

A former director of CSIR, Dr. George Essegbey, particularly appreciated Dr. Tagoe’s suggestion to find ways to communicate “science through street evangelism”.

Another participant explained why scientists should see media partners. But he also instructed reporters to avoid sensationalizing research findings such as the controversial “kenkey causes cancer” story.

This year’s Africa Week celebration will forever be etched in the memory of the in-person and virtual participants who joined the various sessions. It involved hundreds of people from schools, professional scientists, non-governmental organizations, universities and journalists.

Africa Science Week kicked off on Wednesday 11 May with the Spotlight Session involving pioneering scientists from Ghana at Academic City University College Accra.

It continued with Africa Science Movie Night on Friday May 13 at Ghana Tech Lab, Women in STEM Outreach at a High School, Climate Speaker Series on May 19, 2022 at ISSER Conference Hall, and finished with the Art of Science Communication seminar at CSRI-STEPRI.


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