How do you communicate the benefit of applied science to people who still live hand to mouth?


The Lego Foundation encourages kids’ curiosity through interaction and play to promote a culture of scientific minds

As I said in my last post, the Planet Earth Institute asked me to write a second piece after my write-up of the #ScienceAfrica UnConference. Because of my background in research, science communication and now science education (and because of the expertise of my wife, Joanne, in development; she works as a water and sanitation engineer for WaterAid), they asked me to write a bit more on the question with which I ended my conference write-up.

The question was:

how do you communicate that idea [the benefit of science] to the many many people who still live hand to mouth?

My piece was published today on the Planet Earth Institute website. I discussed the importance of primary and secondary education, of making science relevant and interesting to all ages, and of how a failure in teaching training will undermine any plans to improve science education at the school level. I know I’m not an expert on the issue so I have to thank Derek Fish of Unizul Science Centre and my wife for their input. I hope I at least started a conversation and I hope you enjoy it.


4 responses to “How do you communicate the benefit of applied science to people who still live hand to mouth?”

  1. Great post! I wonder if anything can be learnt from India on this one, because they also have a traditional respect structure which discourages questioning but seem to be doing OK on the science front… Probably not the same people following both though.

  2. […] A final point. Much of the conference focused on something that may be considered a luxury in Africa: scientific research for knowledge generation. The panel did discuss the significance of income from applied science, the encouragement of entrepreneurs off the back of this and how that may help development. But in a continent as diverse as Africa and with such levels of inequality from the poorest of the poor to those at the level of the discussion today, the question still remains: how do you communicate that idea to the many many people who still live hand to mouth? […]

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