Seminar Sensitises media on science promotion
Islamabad: Federal Secretary Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Dr. Nazir Saeed, has urged the national media to devote at least five per cent of their media space for the promotion of science In the country.
He expressed these views while presiding over the inaugural ceremony of a daylong seminar on “Science Communication and journalism here in the Federal Capital, The seminar was organized by COMSATS In partnership with the ECO Science Foundation. A number of media representatives, scientists, faculty members of media Sciences, university students, web-based forums, and officials of COMSATS Head-quarters and ECO Science Foundation participated in the seminar.
Dr. Saeed was of the view that media could 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 ala common man- He pledged his Ministry’s support to any initiatives proposed in this regard.
Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. lmtinan Elahi Qureshi, and President ECOSF Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro, highlighted the importance of the theme of the event in their addresses. Dr. Qureshi stated that the work of scientific institutions mostly remains under reported arid the contributions that Pakistan has made to the progress of science and technology in the developing world are seldom highlighted, a fact which is discouraging to many important international scientific –organizations based In Pakistan.
Noting the inadequate coverage of science related activities In the local media he stressed for creating a 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 a 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.
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, Aleem Ahmed; renowned editorial expert Khalid Rahman and Saadia lshtiaq from PJWU delivered the keynote lectures. Other media persons including Ameen Amjad Khan, Paras Ali and lqbal Jamil also delivered lectures on different aspects of the subject exploring ways In how to promote science through the various media.
In his online address from Italy, Edward W Lampinen, Public, Information Officer at The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), talked about Science policy, diplomacy and education in the developing world. Joanne Manaster, Faculty Lecturer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign giving her presentation from USA, highlighted the role of social media in promoting science in the modern world, while Sidreen Gul from Illinois Institute of Technology, USA, made a presentation on Science Journalism for Social Media.
The event concluded with a round-table discussion on a high note of appreciation from the speakers and the participants.