Slovenian Research Agency, US Embassy promoting science

Ljubljana, 29 November - The Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS) and the US Embassy in Ljubljana hosted a three-day event aimed at popularising science through media. The first Science Communication Days concluded on Wednesday with a workshop on the skills journalists need to properly report on scientific achievements.

A special guest of the Science Communication Days, Deborah Blum, a US Pulitzer Prize journalist and the director of the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believes science makes life more interesting.

Science is part of every story, which is why it is important that journalists understand it, she said.

"We live in a world shaped by science and technology. We need people who can explain these things in a clear way, who have influence and a purpose." Blum sees journalists as a link between science and the public.

ARRS head Jozsef Györkös said the first Science Communication Days had been warmly welcomed by the science community as well as journalists and editors.

The event, which is to be held annually, attracted some 200 participants.

Gautam Rana of the US Embassy said promoting education and science, and programmes such as this one was very important for the embassy. "The future is in science, technology," he said.

On Monday, a debate was held on communication and the role of science in society. Yesterday, Blum held a workshop for editors and journalists on media coverage of science, while in the afternoon researchers participated in a workshop on how to communicate science and its achievements to the public.

The Science Communication Days concluded today with a workshop on media skills for researchers co-hosted by TV Slovenija journalist Igor E. Bergant.

The Science Communication Days have its roots in Communicate Science, a project the ARRS launched in 2014.

As part of the project, the agency has already hosted Ian Sample, a science writer for The Guardian, Vivienne Parry, the science editor at BBC Radio 4, and George Johnson, a columnist for the New York Times.