A programme on the Public Understanding of Biotechnology (PUB) has been launched by the Department of Science and Technology(DST) in early 2003.
SAASTA, which is part of the National Research Foundation(NRF) was elected as the implementing agency for PUB by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), who are funding this initiative.
The overall aim of the PUB programme is to promote a clear understanding of the potential of biotechnology and to ensure broad public awareness, dialogue and debate on its current and potential future applications.
Engaging the public
The target audience includes all facets of society, with an emphasis on consumers, educators and learners. PUB aims to provide a single biotechnology vision for South Africa, representing the multiple stakeholders involved and engaging people at all levels of society. It also aims to develop expertise and build capacity in communicating this complex issue, ensuring the dissemination of accurate and factually correct information accessible to the broad South African public.
An emphasis will be placed on engaging the public in debate rather than prescribing specific views and will focus on new, innovative approaches to reach and involve diverse audiences.
Young Science Communicators Writing Initiative:
In an initiative to offer a platform to exercise skills in science communication, PUB commissioned a group of young scientists to write popular articles on various topics relating to biotechnology applications. Read their on articles on topics including sustainable energy, aquaculture, palaeogenomics, and more... Click here to view.
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Shedding Light on Human Genetic Diversity
A paper detailing the the Southern African Genome Sequencing Project and its results was published in the journal Nature.
A range of teaching aids are available in a number of different languages
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