Biotechnology scientists should simplify the information they release publicly for better comprehension by the masses, says Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, minister of science and innovation in Uganda. Speaking at the three-day Agri-biotechnology and Biosafety Communication (ABBS) 2017 Africa Symposium in Entebbe, the minister urged scientists to utilize the symposium to enhance the way they reached out to the masses. The symposium is being conducted under the theme of strengthening communication for improved biosafety management.
The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) is the main organizer of the symposium, along with NEPAD, COMESA, SCIFODE, and the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and the ministry of agriculture. Scientists from rising African powers such as Uganda, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya, and Ghana, the U.S., and Malaysia are part of the symposium.
What Seems to be the Problem?
Biotechnology has become increasingly important for African powers in recent years due to the rising problems regarding shortages in crop output and rising prevalence of diseases. However, the problem arises when biotechnological concepts need to be explained to the masses, many of whom aren’t familiar with scientific jargon and thus can’t identify with the deluge of information.
According to Dr. Tumwesigye, there is an urgent need to explain the exact role of biotechnology in solving medical and agricultural crises plaguing several African countries at present. The meeting itself is aimed at bring legislators and scientists together to discuss novel ways of relaying crucial information. While biotechnological products to address the issues do exist, their adoption is hampered by the lack of awareness among the masses, making the development of effective communication media vital.