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NewsUP to establish science journalism course
The University of the Philippines has placed a premium on expanding popular awareness and discussion of science in the local sphere.
In his farewell luncheon with the press on Wednesday, January 18, University of the Philippines President Alfredo Pascual underscored the need for better science communication.
He expressed satisfaction in the university’s drive to step up its science research, but also emphasized the need to communicate the results and impact of this research to a wider audience.
Pascual is set to step down in February, and will be succeeded by current UP College of Law dean Danilo Concepcion at the helm of the premiere state university.
Science journalism in UPD
UP Diliman College of Mass Communications dean Dr. Elena Pernia took the opportunity to announce the ongoing development of a science journalism course, as well as an upcoming science journalism award to spur the growth of the country’s still nascent science communications field.
“It is imperative to convey the importance of science as well as to debunk myths and misinformation,” Pernia said.
“In our country, science awareness is poor. Scientists often don’t have the skill sets to do proper communications,” she added.
Apart from this, UP has also highlighted its efforts to promote scientific curiosity among schoolkids through its Versatile Instrumentation System for Science Education and Research (VISSER), a modular laboratory platform that allows children to explore basic concepts in physics, chemistry, biology, environmental science and engineering.
The university also showcased its open educational resources, available for free to the public including a series of webcasts on TVUP.
Science, Technology, and Society
Meanwhile, the UP College of Science is working on expanding its Science and Society Program into an Institute, as well as on the development of a full Science, Technology, and Society (STS) degree.
Science, Technology, and Society is currently a required subject for all courses. It aims to foster an appreciation of the role of science in everyday life and to humanize the sciences.
Science Comms in UPLB
This is not the university’s first foray into popular science.
Since 1998, the university’s Los Baños campus has been tackling science communication at the UPLB College of Development Communication.
The UPLB-CDC’s SciCom Department is focused on discussing science to the public within a social development framework.— GMA News