Go back to article: Science communication in Latin America: what is going on?
Science communication policy
Another aspect of science communication in the region exists at the national policy level. Interestingly, several different countries have been creating national policies or at least national strategies for pushing science communication (mostly involving practical activities). This was apparent in a session at PCST 2014 organised by UNESCO and RedPOP.
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela are the countries that have been pushing science communication more consistently, using political strategies. Even countries with less of a tradition in science and science communication, such as Peru and Panama, are on the list of Latin American countries that have created science policies for the field.
However, despite good intentions and brave attempts, instability is an unfortunate feature of the region. Politics is still a driving factor: each new politician wants to leave his or her own mark on the country, eliminating the marks of predecessors. This means that politically driven initiatives (such as museum development), programmes and policies are created, with significant investment. But then many of them simply melt away in the normal course of politics.
Nevertheless I do believe that a lot is going on in science communication in Latin America. Clearly many activities are taking place, policies are being designed, money is being offered for initiatives in the field, people are being trained to work professionally in the area, scientists may be more sensitive towards the need of engaging the public in their research and emerging research groups seem to be being created.
We do need, however, to have more visibility of what is being done, to have more opportunities for networking and, mainly, to have steady support for the field. We have been living on a roller coaster. Now it is time to have a good compass – a GPS perhaps – and clear targets for what we want to reach, and will reach.
Component DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15180/140205/007