PCST 2018 Video

Okay, this is a little different. If a picture can tell a thousand words, then by posting a video, I should pretty much not have to say anything at all! This is a video made by Tourism New Zealand to capture the essence of the Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference held in…

What’s with the Sugar Story?

I remember “Nana,” my maternal grandpa, who lived up to 85 years of age, who had four teaspoons of sugar in his cup of tea. He would love sweets and would hog them whenever my granny made them during festivals. In India, we celebrate every festival with fanfare and we have too many of them!…

Gun Control: should Science Communication get Involved?

I live in New Zealand, where two items on the national news over this last week really caught my attention. The first was a report that a student at a school in Auckland had been punched by another, causing him to fall and hit his head, which required him to be hospitalised. This was just…

Challenges involved in Communicating Health Science to rural India

Women still pray and bargain with God to bear a male child We are in the 21st century when research in health and medical science has reached new heights. Newer technologies are abundant but health care for the rural population in India needs to become simpler and offer practical health solutions. The rural-urban divide poses…

Science Communication should wear its Heart more on its Sleeve

Recently, I was a co-author of a paper published in the journal Environmental Communication examining the differences and similarities between science communication and environmental communication. The paper covers many aspects, from the historical development of each field of study to overlaps in scope and differences in focus. However, there was one point that emerged from…

Citizen Science is not all it is cracked up to be

William Shakespeare wrote the play As You Like It over 400 years ago. It contains a famous monologue, often referred to as the Seven Ages of Man – although, if Bill were writing it today, it should no doubt be called the Seven Ages of Humans. It begins, “All the world’s a stage, and all…

Storytelling: the importance of truth and a good ending

Last night I watched a film called The Factory, which was released on DVD in 2013, fully five years after the completion of filming and following a very limited theatrical release in late 2012. The film fits squarely into the crime-thriller genre and supposedly is “based on actual events.” Without giving too much away, it…

The Public Communication of Science and Technology

The premiere conference for science communicators is the biennial PCST Conference, which this year was held in Dunedin, New Zealand, from 3 – 6 April. The initials PCST stand for “Public Communication of Science and Technology.” Ironically, however, the public is typically excluded from the PCST Conference events, which are aimed at researchers and practitioners…

Is Writing Becoming an Irrelevant form of Communication?

It takes a lot of confidence to call yourself a writer. I had published several books and won a handful of awards before I dared to put my occupation down as “writer” on any form. It was a seminal moment in my life, one that I remember well: the first time I let myself believe…

Come to Middle Earth for PCST 2018

For my sins, I am the Chair of the Local Organising Committee for the PCST (Public Communication of Science and Technology) Conference, 2018. This is the largest and most significant international meeting of science communicators and it occurs every two years. From 3 – 6 April, it shall be held in New Zealand for the…