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Two roundtable meetings on the topic of ‘Science and Technology Communication for Sustainable Development’ are being organised by SciDev.Net during the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg at the end of August.

Both events will take place as part of the Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation that is being planned as a side-event to the summit.

At each, a panel of speakers will give short presentations on a range of relevant issues. These will be followed by open dialogue, with full participation from the audience, which will aim to help to overcome obstacles encountered by science communicators and build new initiatives in this field.

The first meeting will take place on the morning of Wednesday 28 August, at the Ubuntu Village, where a number of WSSD side-events — including a series of meetings on science-related topics being organised by the International Council for Science and the Third World Academy of Sciences — are to be held.

The second, run on identical lines, will be at the CSIR Conference Centre in Pretoria, where the Department for Arts, Culture, Science and Technology is holding a series of events under the title ‘Science at the Summit’, which are aimed particularly at engaging South African scientists.

Both of the SciDev.Net roundtables are intended to bring together a range of individuals engaged in science and technology communication. These are planned to include scientists, journalists, public information and science communication officers, and representatives of non-governmental organisations and donor agencies.

The meetings will address three related topics:
  • The importance of science and technology communication in sustainable development;
  • The obstacles and hurdles that such communication currently faces; and
  • The practical measures needed to overcome these at national, regional and international levels.
Those wishing to participate in either meeting are asked to register on the Science Forum’s website at www.scienceforum.co.za. Further details will appear both on that website and on SciDev.Net as they become available. Suggestions for specific topics to be addressed during the roundtables should be sent to: [email protected].

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