Go back to article: Science communication in Latin America: what is going on?

Attitudes, professionalisation and training

It is perhaps harder to gauge whether there has been a change in the attitudes of scientists toward science communication. My own feeling, as someone who has worked in the field since 1987, is that the atmosphere has been changing at some level in the last few years. At least in Brazil there are some attempts to make science communication part of the science agenda, for example by including it as a mandatory aspect of funding proposals.

Also in the last decade, the region has seen some moves towards professionalisation of the science communication field: whereas previously science communication activities tended to be conducted by scientists who wanted to engage with society, there is now a new generation of experts who dedicate themselves specifically to science communication as their central activity (and have succeeded in finding jobs as science communicators). Diversification of the stakeholders in the field can also be observed, with people from different backgrounds practising science communication (for example journalists, artists and educators).

There is no doubt that there are some very good short- and long-term initiatives for training in science communication in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and some other countries. A session at PCST 2014, for example, presented five diploma, master’s and PhD programmes for science communication in Latin America (plus other regions).

Nevertheless, a significant gap can be observed in training opportunities in science communication, and there is a clear need for more systematic efforts to provide training in the region that could be extended to benefit all the countries. Central American countries in particular have had very little contact with such initiatives.

Component DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15180/140205/005