The public communication of science in public health graduate programs in Brazil: From the coordinators’ perspective

Friday, 19 December 2014: 8:45 AM
Carlos Antonio Teixeira, Centro Universitário Adventista de São Paulo, Master Program in Health Promotion, São Paulo, Brazil and Paulo Rogério Gallo, Universidade de São Paulo, School of Public Health, São Paulo, Brazil
Introduction - The elaboration process of public policies for science and technology in knowledge societies should include not only experts, but all society members. There are studies on lay people’s perception of science and technology. However, what is the scientists’ perspective on public communication of science? Objectives - To describe and characterize the concepts that coordinators of Brazilian public health graduate programs have about public communication of science. Methods – This is an analytical and descriptive report of an exploratory research (doctoral study). The answers of fifty-one coordinators to two questionnaires were submitted for content analysis. The categories were transformed into variables that allowed the data processing by the Hiérarchique Classificatoire et Cohésitive (CHIC®) software. Results - Similarity analysis strongly suggested (0,99) that coordinators understand public communication as a communication directed to academic peers and students, also as a form of participation in scientific events and communication by scientific papers. Likewise, the implication analysis suggested a strong implication (0,98) between scientific communication understood as public communication. Conclusion - The notion of public communication of science as a social right and as a commitment and responsibility of researchers and research centers is not explicitly present in the narrative of the coordinators, although in general the coordinators conceive it as a relevant activity. This study thus contributes to a reflection on the role of scientists, researchers and research centers in public communication of science and technology.