About Africa Science Media Centre
AfriSMC was established by ScienceAfrica and Partners in September 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya, through a small grant from Cornell Alliance for Science principally to work with journalists and scientists on the continent to improve the credibility of media reporting of emerging scientific issues, such as the Coronavirus pandemic.
The first Science Media Centre (SMC) was established in the UK in 2002 after a frenzied and inaccurate media reporting on Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccinations and autism, GM crops and growing public mistrust of science.
As a result, other new SMCs have been established Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, USA and Malaysia.
To provide, accurate and evidence-based information on science, technology and innovations, including health, agriculture and engineering for the benefit of the public and policy makers.
Informed public debate on STIs with positive impacts on policy decisions and sustainable socio-economic development.
- To work with journalists providing them with information about science and its related disciplines; making it easier for them to get access to the best science and scientists when the stories are still making the headlines and building their capacity to better understand the subject matter and report on them more effectively.
- To work with scientists and other experts, supporting them to engage with the media; creating more opportunities for them to get their voices heard on emerging scientific issues, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccines and climate change or any other relevant big stories of the day.
- Support press officers when they are working on complex science, health and environment stories.
- Provide expert advice and evidence on issues relating to science in the media.
To achieve its mandate, the AfriSMC will work through partnerships with the media, scientists, academies of sciences, research institutes, medical associations, CGIAR centres, relevant regional organizations, UN agencies, universities, foundations, industry, government departments and others. Even though based in Nairobi, the AfriSMC aims to spread its reach across Africa.
The philosophy of SMCs worldwide, AfriSMC is designed to cover all areas of science including health, climate Change, agriculture and engineering, among others, in a balanced way and not unduly focused on any particular issue in order to avoid any perception of bias and to build a strong reputation with the media.