Author: Germana Barata – State University of Campinas, Brazil


  • Alessandra Carnauskas – State University of Campinas, Brazil
  • Simone Pallone – State University of Campinas, Brazil

Science journalism training at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) has turned 20 years old and is the longest-running course in Brazil. The 18-month course is free and has graduated 382 science journalists. Classes are composed of 40 students with backgrounds in science or communication to enrich dialogue and practice in science communication.

UNICAMP has received, since 1999, 69% of the Media-Science Grant Program from the São Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP). This important support improves students’ training and scientists” perception about science communication.

A total of 498 students have enrolled in the course, and women are the majority among journalists and scientists of all fields, including hard sciences (51%). Biomedicine is the main field of scientists (45.9%). There is a higher dropout rate among scientists (19.8%) compared to journalists (9.5%), and men (16.1%) compared to women (10.4%). Thirty-nine students (10.2%) have started a Master’s degree and seven a PhD in science communication or in Science & Technology Policy at UNICAMP, showing the courses” relevance in expanding the interest in science communication research.

We surveyed 203 students to know if they currently work in science communication. The majority are women (66%) from São Paulo State (79.3%) and 71.4% work in science communication, mainly among journalists. The course may improve employability and be considered more relevant among journalists and women, a hypothesis that will be investigated.

In the last 20 years, students have evaluated the course which contributed to refining the program. Training has strengthened practicals in science communication, multimedia and social media, besides partnership with Unicamp’s communication channels and commercial media to boost professional experience. Course completion work is focused on the journalism market, practical communication solutions and will be publicly presented.

Future challenges include decreasing the dropout rate among scientists; investing in startups; strengthening science communication practice among graduated scientists; offering short-courses and establishing international partnerships and improving students” survey.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Insight talk
Theme: Time

Author: Germana Barata – State University of Campinas, Brazil

Juan Pablo Alperin – Simon Fraser University
Ronaldo Araújo – Federal University of Alagoas
Crí­spulo Traviezo Rodrí­guez – University of Salamanca

Social media and digital tools have been increasingly used by researchers. The use of social media can bring a number of benefits to professionals such as visibility, public engagement, influence (community approval), communication speedy, sharing information, and being part of a social network, among others. On the other hand, society can benefit from this activity once researchers become more accessible, and contribute to make accurate information available online. Studies have indicated that researchers who establish frequent contact with the media tend to be more academically active and their presence in social media amplifies contact with experts and media, therefore it interferes positively in the academic impact of their work. Although others studies concluded that the activity in blogs or with the public has no relation with the impact of their research.Worldwide, the use scholars made of social media has been analysed, yet most of them have been conducted among social media users (as on Twitter and ResearchGate), among science bloggers or students. The survey aims to understand how professors and researchers of 4 universities in 3 countries use the social media and digital tools daily: the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and the Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL), both in Brazil; Simon Fraser University (SFU), in Canada; and University of Salamanca (USAL), in Spain. The results will help inform how social media can best be used to network, collaborate, discover, and communicate science among different universities, fields, and levels of career. The survey built online on FluidSurvey platform is composed by 30 questions, including respondent profile, taking around 15 minutes to be completed. It will collect data up to mid November 2017. We expect a response rate of 10% (around 736 participants).

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Comparing science communication across cultures

Author: Germana Barata, UNICAMP, Brazil

Co-authors: Carolina Medeiros, Katia Kishi

Some prestigious science journals have invested in science communication strategies to boost readership and to share results with society. Although Brazilian journals have improved their quality within the last decade, their visibility and quality perception still remains limited. On one hand, the national media underestimate the importance of Brazilian journals (some with international standards and others with great national performances), and on the other hand science policy remains focused on international publications. Meanwhile, international science policy has paid attention towards alternative indicators of science impact on society – as Altmetrics that evaluates papers appearance in blogs, News, social media etc. This paper aims to enrich and strengthen the evidence that communication strategies in Brazilian science journals can contribute to change the current overview. We have analysed the ten most popular posts about papers published in Brazilian journals through Facebook, the most used social media in Brazil. The fanpages of 4 Brazilian journals with good performance (up to 1,000 likes each) and weekly activity at Facebook were selected: Revista Brasileira de Educação Física e Esportes-RBEFE (Physical Education); Revista de Medicina (Medicine); História, Ciências, Saúde de Manguinhos (History) and Psicologia USP (Psicology). The same analysis was done in Divulga Ciência fanpage, a project dedicated to the science communication of Brazilian journals. The papers downloads were then analysed in the months previous and after communication on Facebook. The results show a direct impact of social media communication in the papers visibility, with a clear increase on downloads in the month of Facebook communication. For instance, a post about a RBEFE paper jumped from 51 downloads monthly on average to 397 in the post month. This research highlights Brazilian journals potential to draw public interest, which could be enhanced by investing in communication strategies to increment journals value and visibility.