COMSTECH-Technology Times Joint International Workshop on “Science Communication Portfolio: A Guide to Creating Communication Materials that Complement Science”

January 10-11, 2017

Venue: COMSTECH Secretariat, 33-Constitution Avenue, G-5/2, Islamabad.

Application Deadline: December 5, 2016

The OIC Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH), Islamabad in collaboration with Weekly Technology Times invite applications from OIC member states for a workshop on “Science Communication Portfolio: A Guide to Creating Communication Materials that Complement Science” scheduled to be held from January 10 to 11, 2017 at COMSTECH, Islamabad. Applications are invited from professionals working with the media as well as researchers and students. The workshop will provide an excellent opportunity for understanding the role of science and technology in the 21st century and how it can be better communicated to the general public as well as policy makers.

Format of the Workshop:

Through panel discussions, group projects and practical exercises, the workshop will endeavor to provide interaction between the participants and experts. Moreover, each participant will be required to choose a topic and present it at the end of the workshop. The interactive sessions in the workshop will allow participants to build upon their skills in a supportive environment.

Objectives of the Workshop:

  • To provide an introduction to science communication in the broader context of the role of communication in science, and the cultural, practical and policy related role of science communication in society.

  • To cultivate communication skills of the participants with particular emphasis on effective writing on scientific topics to a diverse audience.

  • Media training – how to work with journalists in print and electronic media

  • Advocacy – how to provide science advice to Science & Technology policy and decision makers

  • Improve science communication capacity for stakeholders in science

Workshop Themes:


  • Science & Society – Increasing Public Understanding of Science & Science Communication


  • Science Communication & Media – Issues & Risks in the Digital Age

    • The challenges for science journalism in the digital age

    • Scientists & Journalists – how can we help each other

    • Science, Social Media & Fake Science

  • Communicating Science to Policy Makers & Science Diplomacy 

    • Communicating Science to Policymakers

    • Science Diplomacy: Past, Present and Future

    • Science for Policy and Policy for Science 

  • Science Communication in Academic Institutions 

    • Science Communication Challenges faced by Academic Institutions

    • Need of Incorporating Science Communication into Institutions Policy

    • How Can Scientists Communicate with Society

  • Emerging Relation between Science & Society 

    • Climate change and its impact on water, food and energy

    • Reporting on Life sciences

    • Natural Disasters and Reporting by the Media

Eligibility Criteria:

Applications meeting the following criteria will be prioritized:

  1. Have a science background (natural and applied sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics);

  2. Demonstrate an active role in the dissemination of scientific research findings and popularizing science on different media platforms (TV, radio, social networks, blogs, digital media, newspapers and other forms of print and electronic media);

  3. Capability to train other young professionals on what they have learnt and produce evidence of such.

Registration Fee:

There is no registration fee for this workshop.

Local Hospitality:

COMSTECH will provide free board and lodging to participants from the OIC countries. Travel grants are not available. Airport pick-and-drop service on arrival and departure will be provided to all participants.

Key Speakers:

Fabio Turone is a science writer and editor based in Milan, Italy. Along his career he contributed articles to several Italian outlets, including L'Espresso, Panorama, Il Corriere della sera, Il Sole 24 Ore, Wired, and The BMJ, and currently he is editor in chief of the Agency Zoe of science and health journalism. Fabio is very interested and involved in the development, in Italy and abroad, of the debate around ethics, science and science journalism. He held courses on science journalism for several Italian Universities, coordinated for UNESCO two workshops on science journalism and communication in South East Europe (Belgrade 2013 and Podgorica 2014) and since 2012 is Director of the Erice International School of Science Journalism, in Sicily. He launched in 2009, and still heads, the professional association Science Writers in Italy with the aim of promoting International exchanges and collaboration, especially at the European level. He contributed to the World Conferences of Science Journalists held in Doha (2011) and in Helsinki (2013). Currently he is Research Fellow of the Knight Science Journalism Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy is currently Zohra and Z.Z.Ahmad Distinguished Professor of Physics and Mathematics at Forman Christian College-University, Lahore. Earlier, he had taught for 40 years at Quaid-e-Azam University. He graduated from MIT with undergraduate degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics, a master's in solid state physics, and a Ph.D degree in nuclear physics. In 1968 he won the Baker Award for Electronics, and in 1984 the Abdus Salam Prize for Mathematics.

In 2003 he was awarded UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for the popularization of science. In 2010 he received the Joseph A. Burton Award from the American Physical Society and the Jean Meyer Award from Tufts University. In 2011, he was included in the list of 100 most influential global thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine. In 2013, he was made a member of the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Affairs, a position he currently holds.

Ehsan Masood is a science journalist and since 2009 has been the Editor of the science funding-news service, Research Professional, which is based in the UK. He also teaches science and innovation policy at Imperial College London. Ehsan has also written for The Guardian, The Economist and The Times of London and is author of a number of books including Science and Islam: A History, which accompanied a major BBC TV and radio series. He was an adviser on a partnership between the Council of Europe and the British Council called 'Our Shared Europe', begun in 2008 and aimed at reducing mistrust between Europe's majority and minority communities. Ehsan has previously worked as Director of Communications for LEAD International; as a writer and editor for New Scientist magazine and developing-world correspondent for the journal Nature in the 1990s. His latest book The Great Invention: The Story of GDP and the Making and Unmaking of the Modern World, is published by Pegasus.

Mohammed Yahia is the Executive Editor of Nature Research Group in the Middle East, which is part of Springer Nature. He joined the company seven years ago as the launch editor of Nature Middle East, an online portal that focuses on science and science-related news from the Arab world. He now works with the editorial teams of all publications in the Middle East and Africa, including Nature Arabic Edition and For Science, the Arabic version of Scientific American. He is also editorially responsible for several custom publications produced in the region.

Mohammed is also currently the vice president of the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) and has been the vice president of the Arab Science Journalists Association for the past three years.

Prior to joining Springer Nature, Mohammed was the Middle East and North Africa region coordinator for SciDev.Net and has written for several different publications around the world, including IDRC, The Daily Star Egypt and SNF’s Horizons. He has also taught a course on the internet and media convergence at the Am erican University in Cairo. He has travelled extensively in the region, giving workshops in English and Arabic to journalists on how to use the internet to improve the quality of their work.

After receiving his bachelor degree in pharmacology, he spent a couple of years working in community pharmacies to large pharma companies before he ended up in science journalism and has never looked back since.

Registration Process:

Step 1:    Download application form from here

Step 2:  Read instructions in the application form carefully and submit properly filled form to Foreign participants must submit a scanned copy of first three pages of their passport along with the application form.

Step 3:  Selected participants will be notified by email. Hence, candidates are required to regularly check their emails.

Workshop Coordinators:

Hanifa Beg
Programme Manager,
COMSTECH, Islamabad
Tel: +92-51-9220681-3
Fax: +92-51-9205264, +92-51-9220265

Ms. Sidra Saif
Manager Coordination,
Weekly Technology Times, Islamabad
Mobile No: 0336-0007565

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