Science communication: promoting science to masses
Science and innovations seriously affect the technological progress and the people's lives. Therefore there is an increasing need of society to participate in these processes. Science communications are designed to establish the cooperation between the science world and the people.
"The scientific communications field in Russia is still terra incognita, but it creates a great foundation for the further development. The main thing is while focusing on successful foreign models, one should use the lag to leap. Russian Venture Company supports the initiatives for the scientific communications field development in the framework of the Communication laboratory project, which is aimed at the scientific communicators community development, education and networking programs," Ilya Kurmyshev says, the innovation activities promotion director in Russian Venture Company.
"More and more scientists abroad are becoming aware of the need for this kind of communication. When they understand they have committed a socially significant discovery, they themselves become the initiators of promotion of this knowledge: they contact the press service of their institution, address the media, and conduct scientific and popular lectures. In Russia this culture has not fully taken root: sometimes the university or the research center spokesman has to keep track of interesting publications himself, and then offer scientists to make their discovery available for public, explain why it is important," Dmitry Malkov says.
"Now the main objective of the scientific communication experts in Russia is the infrastructure creation which could combine the scientific community representatives, the media, public authorities, various cultural centers and, of course, the society. After all, one of the tasks of this structure is to make a person an active participant of scientific progress. There is a special term - civic science, in which framework anyone can contribute to the advancement of knowledge about the world. One of the most prominent initiatives is an online game called EyeWire from MIT, which offers everyone to contribute to the study of neural connections of the retina. The project involves millions of people and the results of their work are used in the research of scientists and are found in the following scientific publications. It is noteworthy that among the authors they note the users whose results were taken into account during the preparation of the publication. Serious scientific journals publish the MIT articles, not everyone can boast of publication in Nature," Dmitry Malkov says.
"In our country there is a great potential for the development of scientific communication: Russian scientists are becoming more open to the world. They attract their foreign counterparts for joint research and participate in projects abroad. So, thanks to the new opportunities, we are able to return to the study of lunar soil in Antarctica. An expedition will be sent there led by Viktor Grokhovsky, the Ural Federal University professor, who in 2013 was in the top ten scientists who changed the world, according to the Nature journal. Not only scientists or media can take part in the realization of this research but also the society in general. A crowdfunding project is launched to collect part of the funds for the expedition, which could become an annual," Dmitry Benemanskiy summarizes, the UrFU spokesman.