Ciencia&Media is a 30 minutes weekly radio program dedicated to the communication of science, performed by the Scientific Culture and Research Promotion Unit of the University of Murcia in collaboration with the public broadcasting radio station Onda Regional.
The program aims to talk about science through a mass media in an informative and divulgative way. The specific objectives are to:
- promote the scientific culture in the society, particularly in the Region of Murcia,
- disseminate and bring science and technology closer to the public,
- value the role of science in our contemporary society,
- communicate the research activities of scientists showing the human part of the science,
- promote scientific vocations,
- make a contribution to science education by means of informal communication of science,
- encourage collaboration between journalists, researchers and academics.
DESCRIPTION AND CONTENTS
The program is produced by a multidisciplinary team of scientists and journalists
Each program focuses on a specific subject, for example: brain function, memoriam to Steve Jobs, chronobiology, the LHC, cancer world day, woman and research, etc. Topics are chosen from the scientific actuality or from relevant results of local researchers. Ciencia&Media tries to cover evenly different disciplines, including social sciences and giving some opportunity for the humanities to the extent that may be related to science or research
The radio programs have a fixed structure of four sections:
1) Report. The main subject is treated in a ten minutes slot. The journalists introduce the topics and interview scientists and personalities from the University of Murcia or other research and academic institutions. Occasionally, social associations explain their point of view.
2) Teenager’s interview and colloquium. Every week, a group of four high school students participate actively in the program. They visit the radio station and interview a guess scientist in the studio. The goal of this ten minutes section is to show the scientific work to the secondary education and to promote scientific vocations in youth.
3) Curiosities. To introduce a bit of spark, between sections, the program includes very short stories that tell the most curious and funny aspects of science history and scientist’s lives, for example: where did aspirin come from, what is the world's largest tree, how X-rays were discovered by chance…
4) News and agenda. This last section consists of informing on recommended scientific and cultural activities for the week, and giving short news on other aspects of science non-treated in the main section.
The program can be listened in the Region of Murcia and neighbouring regions (Alicante, Albacete and Almería). Onda Regional radio station offers its service to one million five hundred thousand people. A recent study made by “Información Técnica y Científica SL” concluded that Onda Regional has a 12 percent share and 100.000 listeners.
Ciencia&Media can be listened via live webcasting on www.orm.es. This website includes tools for downloading the audios to smartphones.
The program has a specific website (www.um.es/prinum/cienciaymedia/) with historical contents of past emissions. Visitors may listen to the podcast of every program in mp3 format. From its beginning, in novembre 2011, the programme web has received more than 35.000 visits.
Also, the program is linked at the main website of the Scientific Culture Unit (www.um.es/prinum), which receives almost 90.000 visits per years according to the official web statistical service of the University of Murcia.
The program is present in social networks, specifically Twitter, @CienciayMedia, and Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Ciencia-y-Media/285535478127251?v=wall. Facebook: http://www.um.es/prinum/cienciaymedia/img/facebook.jpg
Ciencia&Media has received considerable attention from the media. Several press releases and reports have covered the project since the program began its broadcast.
- Ciencia&Media has been front page of the University of Murcia website: http://www.um.es/prinum/cienciaymedia/img/portadaUMU.jpg
New in Press Department of the University:
- The two main regional newspapers, La Opinión and La Verdad, explained the Ciencia&Media project and interviewed its team: http://www.um.es/prinum/cienciaymedia/img/laOpinion.JPG
- The project was presented in the workshop “Blogs as an emergent media for science popularization”, along with some important spanish scientific bloggers such as Aurora Ferrer from Quo magazing, and members of the www.amazings.com team:
The activity was trending topic in Twitter.
- CONCIRED, a spanish net for Units of Scientific Culture, has published and article about Ciencia&Media http://comcired.fecyt.es/UCCi/_layouts/custompagesfecyt/customviewlist.aspx?ListName=Noticias&IdItem=52)
Ciencia&Media communicates science with an enjoyable approach and with the participation of important and distinguished scientists. Some of the issues treated along the broadcast programs to date are:
- The brain with Dr. Luis Puelles, member of the European Academy of Biology and Organism Evolution section, and professor at the University of Murcia. This Spanish scientist is one of the worldwide leader of the segmental brain research, has published more than 200 papers and has headed more than 50 international projects.
- Transplants with Dr. Pascual Parrilla, Surgery professor of the University of Murcia and head of the General Digestive Surgery and Transplants Section of the Arrixaca Hospital in Murcia. This surgeon has received the national prize “Solidarity heart 2010” of the Transplanted Association of Murcia.
- Ciencia&Media has broadcast the Science Week of the Floridablanca High School, where a number of activities show scientific experiments to scholars.
- Different scientific and medical issues, such as cancer and stress, have received attention.
- Relation between diet and sperm quality with Dr. Jaime Mendiola, an University of Murcia scientist who has been working with Rochester University scientists.
Besides, Ciencia&Media explains important and current topics related with science, technology and society, as for example the career of Steve Jobs and Apple, the Nobel Prizes, the situation of woman in science, the Large Hadrons Collider, etc. This has an important benefit to society because provides a resource of fresh information on science hot topics.
Another important outcome of Ciencia&Media is the mobilization and interaction with high school students. In particular, the program collaborates with the Education Department (Government of Murcia) through the High Ability Students Program. Also, students of the Research High School modality, a specific educative program of the Region of Murcia, periodically participate in the program.
With respect to scientists, Ciencia&Media is giving them the opportunity to participate and have a voice to spread its work and activity by themselves.
Finally, this project plays an important role for promoting the scientific journalism as a specific speciality. The team of this project includes scientists and scientific journalists contracted specifically by the university that work together and interact with researches and the audience.
The program was selected for funding in a competitive call by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECyT), which depends on the Economy and Competitiveness Ministry of the Government of Spain.
Ciencia&Media is a new way to popularize science because it explains scientific advances in an accessible vocabulary, which can be understood by a general audience although they aren´t expert in the subject discussed and regardless of their scientific background.
Besides, Ciencia&Media expects to promote scientific vocations, and thus provides the adequate scenario in which every week a group of students participate in the program. Students see how is the scientists profession, know the radio studio from within, and develop some skills, complementary to the formal education at school, when they participate and interview directly to the scientists.
This is the first time that the University has a stable collaboration with a radio station to product and broadcast a science program, so, it is an original way to approach Research, Development and Innovation to the general public through non academics ways. Young people are implicated and, for this reason, they can express and spread, through their own voice, the advances of science. They turn themselves into science popularizers.
Ciencia&Media tells about science with an interdisciplinary approach. Not only natural siciences are treated, but also social sciences and research in humanities. For example, it has broadcast a program about the woman role in science in which several female researchers have participated, and has told about research and literature in the centenary of Charles Dickens.
Ciencia&Media presents an agile and comprehensive format and communicates science in a light while rigorous form. This project puts together in an university a multidisciplinar team dedicated to science communication.
Ciencia&Media can be listened every Saturday at 12.30pm in Onda Regional de Murcia radio station (105.3 FM) and at www.orm.es, although every program can be listen or downloaded any day at www.um.es/prinum/cienciaymedia, where mp3 sounds are accompanied with an explanatory text. Besides, in this web we keep in touch with the audience through the suggestion box and the opinion poll.
On the other hand, the issues treated in the radio program are reflected in the Scientific Culture Unit website (www.um.es/prinum), which is a repository of contents for the academic community, the media, information agencies, or simply the general public.
Popularitation work in University of Murcia and Onda Regional
The University of Murcia is an institution that works for the public service of the superior education. More than 31.000 pupils study in the University nowadays. This institution invests in future, that’s way it has 307 research groups and 6 research institutes. Furthermore, the University has a wide and confirmed experience in the popularization of science and it’s the public organism with more research activity.
The Scientific Culture & Research Promotion Unit is the office within the University of Murcia in charge of the promotion and scientific culture. It was created in 2006, and nowadays, has become a reference unit in Scientific Culture and Communication. Our main tasks involve the organisation of interenting scientific events, committees, conferences, etc (you may check different projects with which we are working on here: http://www.um.es/prinum/index.php?opc=eventos) and the strengthening of the relationship with other institutions, companies and colleagues. Furthermore, as experts in scientific communication, we are in charge of forwarding the findings from the research of the University of Murcia to the media and society. The office counts on specialized personal to develop the work.
Onda Regional of Murcia works to explain the science to the society. It offers three popularizations of science programs
- Ciencia & Media.