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Media told to interest public in biotechnology

By Noah Jagwe

Added 22nd January 2018 03:43 PM

“Science that is not well dissected to the masses to easily translate or form policy,” Tumwesigye noted.

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“Science that is not well dissected to the masses to easily translate or form policy,” Tumwesigye noted.

PIC: Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Dr Elioda Tumwesigye speaking to the media during the science communication training workshop, at Fairway Hotel, Kampala.(Noah Jagwe)

KAMPALA - The media practitioners have been asked to help the public understand and appreciate the role of biotechnology in the development of a country.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI) Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, said biotechnology holds a lot of promise for the country and requires the support of all stakeholders, the media inclusive.

“Science that is not well dissected to the masses to easily translate or form policy,” Tumwesigye noted.

Tumwesigye made the remarks recently while officiating at the science communication training workshop held in Kampala whose principal aim was to mentor young journalists to build on what has been accomplished.

The minister said they are committed to developing this sector, provide a listening ear to all the stakeholders, including the media fraternity and providing home to all science and technology matters in Uganda.

Tumwesigye hailed the training, saying this was a good initiative because science without being understood by the public will not be of benefit to our country.

He said as a scientist, he has hope that media practitioners will put efforts in understanding and appreciating the work, simplifying it to the quality that the readers and listeners can understand.

Speaking at the workshop, the executive director SCIFODE, Arthur Makara, noted that it is out of scientific findings that countries have been able to develop industries and make several discoveries. Biotechnology has many applications in different fields of research.

Scientists from the National Agricultural Research Organisation also explained to the media fraternity how they are breeding new crops and how they conserve them.

NARO staff also explained the purpose for which they breed crops and animals. The exercise was in contribution to reducing negative public perception of the technology.

“Once the media are not aware, the public is not,” Makara said, adding that the media should not distance itself from science matters because the field is key to development.

Biotechnology is defined as applied science which uses different techniques on microbes for use of human.

Makara noted that there is anti-science propaganda and negative media campaigns against scientific innovations.

He said because of the negative media propaganda, the impact and work of the institutions such as NARO, National Atomic Energy Agency and Infectious Disease Institute and others have gone unnoticed.

“There is growing mistrust between the public and scientists and smear campaign against scientists,” Makara said.
 

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