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[SEOUL] An international network devoted to science communication has announced it will set up an academy to promote activities in the field.

Vladimir de Semir, chair of PCST (the International Network on Public Communication of Science and Technology), made the announcement last week (19 May) at the network's ninth international conference in Seoul, South Korea.

De Semir, who is also commissioner for scientific culture at Barcelona City Council, Spain, said the academy would enable the network to organise regular research and other activities relating to science communication.

So far, PCST has been a loosely organised body whose role has been limited to editing journals about science communication, publishing a small number of books and holding a biannual international conference.

"Currently, all of our members work as part-time volunteers, but this has not met the increasing global demand for better research and practices in the field of science communication," de Semir told SciDev.Net.

De Semir said the academy would be formally set up in July, but he would not reveal its planned location or number of staff.

The academy will raise funds to support the network's activities in the developing world. It will also operate a regularly updated website that will gather information on science communication.

Bruce Lewenstein, a professor of science communication at Cornell University in the United States and a member of the PCST executive committee, says the academy will help the network to better coordinate its resources and activities.