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Aims and guiding principles

PUB is a dynamic and innovative public communication programme aiming to:

  • increase broad public awareness and clear, balanced understanding of the scientific principles and potential of biotechnology; and
  • create meaningful opportunities for public dialogue and debate around biotechnology and its applications within our society to enable informed decision making.

Guiding principles

The PUB programme is guided by the following principle:

  • Neutral, balanced mandate to provide credible, objective, factual information;
  • Stimulate dialogue, debate and public participation;
  • Open communication about benefits and risks;
  • Use innovative, creative approaches;
  • Communicate in easy, accessible language;
  • Active involvement of the science community;
  • Capacity building in biotechnology communication;
  • Global and regional networking;
  • Biotechnology per se - NOT just GM and cloning;
  • Publicly funded research - public's right to know;
  • Current confusion of the general public;
  • Wide target audience - everybody!

Focus areas

Focus areas include:

  • Mass media;
  • Resources for educators and learners;
  • Basic biotechnology training courses;
  • Communication training (scientists and journalists)
  • Profile at public, scientific and academic events;
  • Publications, exhibitions and competitions;
  • Role model campaigns;
  • Science and art initiatives;
  • Increased public engagement;
  • Grant Funding
  • Research and surveys
  • Online information bank; Q&A

The SA challenge

The challenges facing the programme in South Africa include:

  • Diversity of people and culture;
  • Remote rural areas;
  • Eleven official languages;
  • Illiteracy and poverty;
  • Infrastructure;
  • No "history of dialogue."

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.

Click here to view archived newsletters.

Press release

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.

Read more

Easy learning!

A range of teaching aids are available in a number of different languages


Interested in a career in the exciting field of biotechnology?

Find out more!