Tracing the emergence and the development of Science Communication in a small island nation

Tracing the emergence and the development of Science Communication in a small island nation

Author: Zi Zhao Lieu – The National University of Singapore, Singapore


  • Letchumi D/O Mani – The National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Denise De Souza – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Tzer-Liang, Benedict Lin – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Koon-Peng, Glenn Toh – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

The development of scientific communication movement in Singapore can be described in terms of an evolving and increasingly complex relationship between discourses about Science and its role in society, and the communication of Science and its ideas, through formal education and other forums. When Singapore became independent in 1965, the fledgeling nation had limited scientific resources and very little industrialization. Thus, one of the most urgent agenda by the new Singapore government was to build up human capital, trained in Science and technology to meet the demand of industrialization. To do so, the Singapore National Academy of Science was set up two years after independence to promote and cultivate keen interest for in Science and engineering among school children and the general public such that they will consider a future career in science and technology. Both the Science Centre Singapore and the Singapore Association for the Advancement of Science was instrumental in its early days to promote and communicate Science to the public. Since then, the Science communication movement has also grown from the initial concerns with the extrinsically motivated promotion of scientific literacy for economic needs to include more mature intrinsic concerns such as helping scientists to communicate their work more effectively. This story traces this evolution, highlighting how extrinsic and intrinsic motivations, as well as top-down and ground-up movements, have shaped discourses about Science, and the communication of Science, in Singapore.

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Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Time