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Science Communication in Sri Lanka: A Critical Analysis

Aug 23, 2014



Presentation at Workshop organzied by COSTI and Sci Dev Net on 27 May 2014: Mainstreaming Science and Technology and Innovation for Public communication

  • Science Communication in Sri Lanka: A Critical Analysis Prof Hiran Amarasekera University of Sri Jayewardenepura
  • Communication by Arahat Mahinda to King Dewanampiyathissa 2500 years ago "0 great King, the birds of the air and the beasts of the land have has equal right to live and more about in any part of the land as thou. The land belongs to the people and all living beings; thou art only the guardian of it"
  • Science communication Two types Communication between scientists (e.g. through scientific journals) Presenting science-related topics to non- experts (Popularization) by professional scientists by professional communicators (Science Journalists)
  • Communication between Scientists Scientific conferences, symposia, workshops etc. Scientific journals (or magazines) Lecture series in scientific institutions
  • Science conferences, Symposia Many events but materials are not published (on the web)
  • Science conferences, Symposia Forestry and Environment Symposium since 1995
  • Science Peer-reviewed Journals Only NSF Journal is indexed in Science Citation Index
  • How to publish when we do not have information?
  • How to get world ranking when we do not publish?
  • How to get ranking?
  • How to get ranking?
  • 2011 12 Subject areas in Sri Lanka
  • 2011 12 Subject areas in Singapore
  • Need to put more offline data online
  • Need to put more offline data online
  • Who - Sri Lankan scientists and science writers Dr. E .W Adikaram (Editor- "Naweena Vidya Sagarawa") Dr. M.W Karunananda, Dr. Buddhadasa Bodinayaka (editor- "Vidya sagarawa"), Danasiri Bodinayaka (editor-''Vidunena", Lake house Publication) Prof. Nandadasa Kodagoda (UNESCO Kalinga Price winner)
  • Who - Sri Lankan scientists and science writers Bandusela de Silva (edited Late Dr: Upali M. Senanayaka, Athula Manchanayaka Dr. William de Alwis K. Ariyasinghe
  • Who - Sri Lankan scientists and science writers Edwin Ariyadasa, Perci Jayamanna D. Amarasinghe R.D.J, Athapaththu Late Mahinda Ranaweera Benadikt Dodampegama Prof Carlo Fonseka Science Communication - Yesterday, Today an Tomorrow by Dr Jayantha
  • Science Communicators
  • Three forms of science communication Traditional journalism; Live or face-to-face events, Online interactions Bultitude, K. (2011) Why and How of Science Communication
  • Traditional Journalism Newspapers Magazines TV Radio
  • Traditional Journalism in Sri Lanka "Vidya dipa". "Vidusara" from 1987, was edited by Anura Siriwardana and now by Rajendra Kulasinghe ''Vidurawa" from 1976 by National Science Foundation
  • Vidusara Launched in 1987 by Upali Newspapers
  • Traditional Journalism in Sri Lanka "Nawayugaya" Dr. E.W Adikaram edited the science bulletin for" Lankadeepa" weekly, and later it was edited by Thusitha Mallalaseakara. "Wijaya", "Mihira" and womens new papers; " Tharuni", " Sirikatha" and " Nawaliya". "Samudura", which is distributed with the "Lakbima" newspaper
  • How to get to TV prime time news? Eg As in Rice 1. Basic science and specialized Newspapers (University websites?) 1. National News Papers 2. TV News
  • Face to face events Public lectures, Orations School Science days Science Centres and Museums Debates & dialogue Science Festivals
  • Public Lectures, orations Very few attend Routine events by professional organizations No media publicity Outcome not published
  • School Science Days Very popular but Topics selected by teachers and students based on global issues
  • Science centers and Museums
  • Science @ Exhibitions Dayata Kirula 2014
  • NSF Science and Engineering Fair Need to promote in School science days
  • Communicating to School Children Science camps
  • School Science Program by NSF Science projects
  • Universities organize mega cultural events
  • Community events by University students U of Kelaniya students donate chemicals and practical knowledge to rural schools
  • Online Internet sites incl. online journalism Blogs, wikis and podcasting Facebook, twitter and other social media Citizen Science movement - Involving public directly in research, usually via online.
  • Online - issues Visibility is less Many sites not updates Universities need to publish research news Current topics are missing
  • Visibility of Science on Web
  • Visibility of Science on Web
  • Citizen Science Involving public directly in research, usually via online For data gathering exercises or Data analysis Eg- Bird watchers reporting bird observations U of Colombo
  • Gradual shift in policy discourse from keywords such as popularisation and public understanding of science to dialogue, engagement and participation. Bucchi, M & Trench, B (eds) (2008) Handbook of Public Communication of Science and Technology (London & New York: Routledge).
  • Current issues (Topics)
  • CKDu
  • Dengue in Sri Lanka
  • Ratupaswala wate acidity
  • Wallapatta
  • Media: Is there a place for science?