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Meet the expert - Elisabetta Tola Meet the expert - Elisabetta Tola

Elisabetta Tola has a PhD in Microbiology and an MA in Science Communication at SISSA, Trieste, Italy. She is a lecturer in science communication, multimedia, radio production and in data journalism in various journalism schools and courses.

 She is co-founder of the science communication agency formicablu, in Bologna and Roma, where she coordinates projects exploring cross-media tools in science communication. She has been one of the presenters of the daily science programme Radio3Scienza on RAI Radio 3 since 2005. Elisabetta is currently involved in the production of the weekly science programme PiGreco Party, on air and in podcast since 2004 on Radio Città del Capo, Bologna. 

In 2010, she worked on seismic risk prevention, producing the docu-fiction Non chiamarmi terremoto. Her recent interest include data journalism and communication of agro-biodiversity.

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1. Introduction
1. Introduction
23/07/12 10:09
Science communication and science education are closely linked together, and both have strongly influenced each other in the past decades. Today, science communicators can be seen as informal science educators, and many of them use their freedom to experiment innovative teaching tools and methods such as inquiry-based learning or serious games. Beside that, they are frequently involved in teachers’ training. Other important players are science editors, who are the people responsible for producing and publishing science books used by teachers during school curricula. Science centres, museums and publishers as well as science communication agencies or universities are regularly providing teachers with new resources, not only on science topics, but also on learning approaches. They are often also the ones developing new tools for bringing science to young people, using both informal lab tools and multimedia as well as interactive tools.

The recent European report “Science Education Now: a Renewed Pedagogy for the Future of Europe” (Rocard M., 2007) identifies firm evidence that indicates a connection between negative attitudes towards learning science and the way science is taught. It also notes that “many on-going initiatives in Europe actively contribute to the renewal of science education. Nevertheless, they are often small-scale and do not actively take advantage of European support measures for dissemination and integration.”

Science communicators, museums and science publishers contribute to this renewal by integrating and exploiting the research and European projects results in their activities as well as in teachers training. But first of all, do science communicators get these results, and through which channels? Do they use the most up-to-date information on research performed by researchers to convey it in their activities (labs, books, conferences and events)? How do they get this information and how do they make sure it is certified, verified and so on?

We will go through the main dissemination channels, from official reports to social media, in order to discuss their relevance. We will discuss which channels are most efficient for which kind of results, which are the ones you prefer and which are the ones that fail to reach you.
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