The dissemination of research findings and knowledge transfer is an integral part of the scientists’ activities to demonstrate the societal impact of research, facilitate research uptake, and translate scientific knowledge into practice. Such a research process involves engaging with a broader audience like policymakers. The South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) monthly webinar – SciComm Knowledge Share – provides a forum/platform for scientists to communicate and engage with the science policymakers and science engagement practitioners about research relevant to the work of SAASTA and National Research Foundation (NRF).
On 15 July, the SAASTA SciComm Knowledge Share webinar hosted Dr Mpfareleni Rejoyce Gavhi-Molefe, AIMS’s House of Science Manager. The webinar was attended by SAASTA representatives, science communication practitioners and researchers from the NRF research entities. Dr Gavhi-Molefe shared the key research findings from the recently published study on Why scientists agree to participate in science festivals: Evidence from South Africa (co-authored by Prof Eric Jensen and Dr Marina Joubert). The subsequent discussions included benefits/implications for South African science policy, practice and future research studies. This groundbreaking research study on scientists’ participation in an African science festival was published by the International Journal of Science Education and promoted through The Conversation Africa. Dr Gavhi-Molefe further engaged the participants on the critical challenge and imperatives of building the scientists’ ability and capability skills to deliver science engagement activities in South Africa and how such a challenge impacts the growth of public engagement in South Africa.
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