A book chapter that appeared in the recently published book by the Australian National University on “Communicating Science” forever etched science communication or scicom products and services of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in the country’s history and status of scicom.
The book chapter, "Philippines: From science then communication to science communication" traced the history of scicom in the country from the pre-Spanish times up to the modern period. It was authored by three scicom practitioners coming from the academe and industry sectors. They are Assistant Professor Garry Jay S. Montemayor from the University of the Philippines Los Baños; Dr. Mariechel J. Navarro, former director of Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology; and Kamila Isabelle A. Navarro, a graduate of Master of Science Communication degree at Australian National University.
Some works of the DOST that were cited in the book chapter are the annual National Science and Technology Week celebration which showcases the Department’s various S&T “through innovative scicom methods” and the digital library-in-a-box called STARBOOKS or Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosks. Incidentally, STARBOOKS is one of the innovative products of the DOST-Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII).
Further, the Science Explorer Bus and NuLab, DOST-Science Education Institute’s (DOST-SEI) mobile science learning facilities for elementary and high school students were also mentioned. These facilities have interactive exhibits, learning materials, and laboratory equipment which give students from under-equipped schools a hands-on and fun experience in science.
Also mentioned is Indie-Siyensiya, a filmmaking contest of the science agency administered also by the DOST-SEI. It aims to promote science culture among the youth and use cinema as a way to encourage more people to appreciate science.
Lastly, the official science and weather program of DOST was also cited. Called DOSTv, it airs science shows featuring Filipino scientists and their works, various programs and events of the Department, local technologies and innovations, weather reports, and science trivia. It is the Department’s way of fighting the “low profile of DOST and science in the national consciousness”, the book chapter reads.
The book was edited by some of the world-recognized experts in science communication like Toss Gascoigne, Michelle Riedlinger, Bruce V. Lewenstein, Luisa Massarani, and Peter Broks. It featured the status of scicom practice in 39 countries, among which is the Philippines. The whole book and the book chapter on Philippine scicom can be downloaded for free on the website https://press.anu.edu.au/.
To learn more about the scicom products and services of the DOST, visit the Department’s information and marketing arm, DOST-Science and Technology Information Institute via http://www.stii.dost.gov.ph/ or follow the Facebook account https://www.facebook.com/dost.stii.
The book “Communicating Science” describes that science communication has flourished in select 39 countries, including the Philippines. (Photo from press.anu.edu.au)
DOSTv is the official science and weather program of the Department of Science and Technology. It airs Monday to Friday via PTV4 at 9:30 AM and various online platforms: www.dost.ph, www.dostv.ph/youtube, and www.facebook.com/DOSTvPH. (Photo from dostv.ph)
The centerpiece of the 2019 National Science and Technology Week at the World Trade Center, Pasay City was a visual symbol of the thrust of the DOST to promote innovation for inclusive growth. (Photo by Gerardo G. Palad, DOST-STII)
Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosks or STARBOOKS, is an S&T information pod that does not need the internet to operate. It contains thousands of digitized S&T materials in text and video formats. (Photo from stii.dost.gov.ph).
NuLab (left) and Science Explorer (right) are mobile facilities that provide students with an interactive and fun learning experience in science. (Photo from sei.dost.gov.ph)
Indie-Siyensiya was conceptualized to encourage the use of film as a medium to communicate science and entice the youth to engage in various fields of science. (Photo from facebook.com/indiesiyensya)
By David Matthew C. Gopilan, DOST-STII