Blurring Global North/South Boundaries in Advancement of Equity and Inclusion through Science Communication Practices and Research
The Inclusive SciComm Symposium (ISCS) conference is an ever-evolving and expansive conference that advocates for science communication that prioritizes equity, inclusion, and intersectionality. It (ISCS) aims to build a community that actively challenges the dominant, marginalizing norms of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM).
The 2023 ISCS, hosted in hybrid format by the University of Rhode Island’s Metcalf Institute in Kingston, USA, included a virtual session on “Blurring global North/South boundaries in science communication: mainstreaming epistemic diversity, decolonization, and multilingualism”. The session took place on 13th October and was organised by Rejoyce Gavhi-Molefe, AIMS House of Science Manager, and three other early-career scientists from a variety of Global South backgrounds and/or countries, namely Siddharth Kankaria (India), Sofía Gutiérrez (Mexico), Odon Akanimo (based in the UK; originally from Nigeria) and John Noel Viana (based in Australia; originally from the Philippines). The session was supported by the African Gong – Pan-African Network for the Popularization of Science & Technology and Science Communication in Africa, the Center for Diverse Leadership in Science at UCLA – University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Rhode Island Coastal Institute.
The virtual session, which was co-moderated by Rejoyce and Siddharth, collated learnings and insights from the four speakers’ recent contributions to a Bristol University Press book on Race & Sociocultural Inclusion in Science Communication and their diverse, intersectional lived experiences. Rejoyce’s contribution to the session focused on the challenges and opportunities concerning advancing scientific research and its communication/dissemination to the broader public in South Africa and on the continent. It provided some insights on how the capacity-building programme, “Africa Scientifique: Leadership, Knowledge & Skills for Science Communication”, delivered annually to the cohort of AIMS South Africa Master’s students since 2020, is addressing the gaps and challenges in public science communication in South Africa.
During the discussion, the speakers also reflected on the importance of acknowledging intersectional identities, such as those at the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender/sex and social status, when thinking about disparities in science communication and acknowledging contributions of various groups/communities to science enterprise.
The 2023 ISCS took place in-person October 19-21, 2023. Additional virtual sessions took place on Fridays – 9/29/23, 10/6/23, 10/13/23, and 11/3/23.