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Thursday, 18 October 2007

Ugandan Agenda

Our Uganda twin association, the Ugandan Science Journalists' Association, has developed an agenda for action over the coming year. William Odinga, the Association Chair, would value anyone's comments! He writes:

Dear Twin, these are the ideas we are grappling with (at least to take USJA through the coming year). I am sharing them with anybody who cares to listen:

1. A retreat to develop the USJA constitution: A small group of journalists and scientists, plus a facilitator (a lawyer) should see to the success of this. This should take place in December 2007.

2. A secondary schools science challenge (read "quiz") on TV for January - June, 2008. It will run one hour a week. We have the technical capacity to make it both educative and entertaining. If the show becomes popular, we carry on with it even after June.

3. Four science journalism training workshops per quarter, starting early 2008. We have divided our target group into four regions (Central, North, East and West). Each region will have a workshop per quarter.

4. The Uganda National Conference for Science Communication (the first of its kind) in November 2008. Lessons learned from the 5th World Conference of Science Journalists and Barbie’s book on setting up science journalism associations. If it goes as I wish, this event shall take place every year preceding the WCSJ. During the 2008 conference we shall hold our Annual General Meeting and elect a new executive committee.

5. A science communication workshop for scientists facilitated by experienced science communicationists -- preferably our counterparts from developed countries. Emphasis is to be put on how scientists can enhance their communication skills.

Item No.1 is the most urgent as it establishes the association (recruitment of members depends a lot on that).

Please join us in developing the concepts for the items mentioned above. We have started making local alliances and hopefully they will pay off to a substantial degree.

William Odinga