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David Dickson


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David Dickson

  1. 1. The role of the media in tackling disease in the developing world BA Festival of Science University of LIverpool, 10 September 2008 David Dickson , Director, SciDev.Net
  2. 2. <ul><li>Science, technology and innovation are essential to meet the challenges of: </li></ul><ul><li>achieving economic growth , </li></ul><ul><li>reducing poverty , and </li></ul><ul><li>tackling food shortages and disease . </li></ul>Premise (1)
  3. 3. The communication of accurate and accessible information about science and technology are essential to achieve all of these objectives.
  4. 4. <ul><li>This is true of the communication of information about diseases and their potential treatment to: </li></ul><ul><li>Policymakers </li></ul><ul><li>Citizens </li></ul>In particular:
  5. 5. Policymakers at all levels need accurate, timely and reliable information about potential role of biomedical science in tackling diseases and thus meeting development objectives. Policymakers needs:
  6. 6. <ul><li>This information is needed to: </li></ul><ul><li>Identify allocation of health resources </li></ul><ul><li>Identify research needs </li></ul><ul><li>Construct appropriate regulatory framework. </li></ul>Policymakers needs (Ctd):
  7. 7. Public understanding of, and engagement in , biomedical science ensures open and democratic debate about the promises that research offers. Public needs:
  8. 8. Public understanding is also required to handle the potential misuses of biomedical research, and to ensure evidence-based decisions are aken by policymakers. Public needs (ctd):
  9. 9. Effective communication about biomedical science is an essential requirement for effective development. Conclusion:
  10. 10. Eliminating the transaction of costs of communicating biomedical information opens up new possibilities and opportunities for communication information about diseases and their potential treatments. World-wide web:
  11. 12. What we are and what we do
  12. 13. To become a basic resource for policymakers and stakeholders concerned with science – including biomedical science – and development issues. To achieve this by providing a combination of topical and background information that is both authoritative and accessible Our goal
  13. 14. <ul><li>Activities: </li></ul><ul><li>Operating a free-access website ( ) containing news, views and analysis about science in the developing world. </li></ul><ul><li>Organising regional workshops and other activities – including internships – to enhance the capacity of science communicators and others (including researchers) to provide reliable and authoritative information on such issues </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>Our website contains </li></ul><ul><li>News </li></ul><ul><li>Feature articles </li></ul><ul><li>• Opinion articles </li></ul><ul><li>• Weekly editorial </li></ul><ul><li>• Dossiers (including commissioned policy briefs) </li></ul><ul><li>• Notices (including lists of meetings, grants and jobs) </li></ul><ul><li>• Links (e.g. to scientific organisations and journals) </li></ul><ul><li>• Feedback from users </li></ul>
  15. 30. Capacity-building workshops These are intended to help build capacity in developing countries to report accurately on science and technology and their contributions to development.
  16. 31. <ul><li>SciDev.Net is currently funded by: </li></ul><ul><li>UK Department for International Development (DFID) </li></ul><ul><li>Swedish International Development Agency (Sida/SAREC) </li></ul><ul><li>• International Development Research Centre (IDRC) </li></ul><ul><li>• Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs (DGIS) </li></ul><ul><li>• Swiss Development Agency (SDC) </li></ul>
  17. 32. For more information , and to register to receive free weekly email alert , visit us at Thank you! Liverpool, 10 September 2008