Scientific communication in Panama

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The City of Knowledge Foundation, together with the Institute for Scientific Research and High Technology Services (INDICASAT), held in recent days the dialogue: Scientific communication in Panama, at the City of Knowledge Training and Business Center.

The dialogue began with welcoming remarks by Dr. Guillermo Castro, Vice President for Research and Training of the City of Knowledge Foundation, who recounted how he learned that science is a costly and complex activity that requires public support. Dr. Castro explained that science is a necessary activity for social development and that out of this necessity the City of Knowledge project is designed, among other things, to facilitate our interaction in areas such as scientific research. He also mentioned the biodiversity, position and demographic richness of Panama, and how we should work exploiting these qualities to promote competitiveness. He finished by stating that science should work better with the country’s media, by offering them training aimed at getting the scientific message to the population.

Amador Goodridge, from the Institute for Scientific Research and High Technology Services (INDICASAT), spoke on the "Importance of scientific communication in our society." Dr. Goodridge stated that he has noticed a deficiency with respect to what is broadcasted in the media in contrast to the work done by scientists, and highlighted the misinformation that exists in the areas of disease. What is sought is to transmit information to our society in an efficient way, so that science can be understood inside a context of aid to the country. The key lies in knowing how to communicate scientific findings and make researchers known figures in our society. For Dr. Goodridge communicating technological and scientific progress helps a society move forward.

For his part, Dr. Rolando A. Gittens, of the National College of Journalists, made ​​his presentation on "Media communication techniques." In it he explained that the communication problem is an old one, since it is not easy to efficiently narrate what is happening. Dr. Gittens mentioned the elements that a journalist takes into account to make a story, such as immediacy, proximity, consequence, prominence, suspense, rarity, conflict, sex and emotion; and how necessary it is for the scientist to understand how a journalist works.

Once the conference was finished a discussion group took place where it was made clear that scientific communication is essential in the world we live in because without it we wouldn’t be able to transmit all the advances in scientific life; therefore it represents a social necessity. For society as a whole it is necessary to understand a simple and didactic way of progress and explanations of science in all its manifestations.