PCST Mexico Symposium: new voices and new knowledge from Latin America

6 June 2024

On April 10-12, 2024, Zacatecas (Mexico) hosted a PCST Symposium developed in parallel with the IX National Colloquium on Science Recreation. This academic event was the third in Latin America. Our first PCST International Conference was held in 2014 in Brazil, and we hosted the PCST Symposium in Costa Rica in 2016. Recently, we had a second symposium in this region.

The Symposium Colloquium gathered 211 participants (73 males and 138 females) from 14 countries across four continents. The event included four plenary lectures, 117 oral presentations, four roundtables, and one science recreation lab, which could be consulted in the complete programme. The presentations were divided into four lines of discussion.

  1. Science recreation
  2. Museums and science centers
  3. PCST Research
  4. New voices in PCST

One of the key themes of the Symposium was the vital role of new voices in shaping the future of science communication. Participants passionately discussed the challenges and opportunities of including diverse perspectives in the public communication of science and technology. The importance of the Global South’s contributions to science and technology, strategies to combat the infodemia, and the impact of science communication on public policy were also highlighted.

As part of the discussions at the event, there was an agreement on the relevance of an international organisation such as PCST Network to support the development of science communication worldwide, particularly in Latin America, and a proposal to work on a PCST declaration on the relevance of science communication that could be presented to governments and institutions around the world. It is essential to help consolidate emerging practice and research initiatives from individuals and institutions to promote the professionalisation of the PCST field.

Many institutions got involved in the organisation of this event: the PCST Global Network, Red de Popularización de la Ciencia y la Tecnología en América Latina y el Caribe (RedPOP), Recreación en Cadena, Science Museum at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Zacatecas Council for Science, Technology, and Innovation, Secretary of Education of Zacatecas, Zigzag Interactive Science Center, Quark Group, and National Polytechnic Institute in Zacatecas. We are deeply grateful for the commitment and participation of all the institutions and individuals involved who together made this meeting a great success.

Along with the academic contributions that will be published in a proceedings book later this year, the Symposium Colloquium created links between emerging and established PCST researchers and practitioners in Mexico, Latin America, and worldwide. Such connections will serve well for the growth of the international PCST community in events such as the upcoming 2025 International PCST Conference in Aberdeen, United Kingdom, and the XIX RedPOP Congress in Puebla, Mexico.