The field of Science Communication is increasingly growing as more people are realising and accepting how crucial this field’s contribution is to science. In general, conversations about science are limited to academics and other scientists. However, as Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation, stated, “Science isn’t complete until it’s communicated.” This means also including those outside science and academic circles into the conversation.
The Africa Asia Communications Forum (AACF) comprises a network of people and institutions, including SANTHE, who are dedicated to communicating science. The AACF has been awarded with operational network funding amounting to £34,887 GBP from the Wellcome Trust that will go towards an “AACF Maintenance Project”. These funds will help formalise the existing network of science communication practitioners from Wellcome’s Africa Asia Programmes, DELTAS Africa programmes, the India Alliance and the Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa, as well as associated institutions. They will help close the gap between the forum’s biennial face-to-face meetings to ensure the consistent upskilling and networking capacity of AACF members and in this way, widen the impact of the research conducted by their organisations, enable deeper public engagement with research, and inspire the next generation to take up scientific careers.
“For this project to be successful, we will need the full buy-in and support of our members, but if our past two meetings in the UK and South Africa are anything to go on, I have no doubt that we’ll see the same kind of full-on commitment and engagement from our members,” states Kim Waddilove, SANTHE’s Communications Officer, who is spearheading the project.