Implications of Media-Scientists’ Relationship on Crop Biotechnology Debate in Uganda

  • Ivan Nathanael Lukanda
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


Individuals often turn to the media for information about science and to track developments in their chosen fields of science, including medicine, climate change, biotechnology, and ecosystems resilience. Thus, media are key gateways to belief and doubt in knowledge, including science. Indeed, media houses have noted this trend and indexed it by establishing pages in their print versions, airtime on their electronic platforms, publishing science articles online, and sharing relevant information on social media. In order to achieve the desired visibility, science institutions have reciprocated by adopting and adapting training for scientists in public relations and providing guidelines for their researchers interested in going public or facing the media. Yet, findings from interviews with four scientists and ten science journalists show that there is still friction between journalists and scientists in what should have been a mutual relationship in sharing information about ecosystems risk science, especially in the crop biotechnology debate, with the non-expert society in Uganda. The implication of media playing the dual roles of being watchdogs and supporting scientific developments is that the awareness created through the various platforms greases and sustains the debate on issues of GMOs, in a way similar to the debate on climate change and ecosystems resilience.


Media for information about science Ecosystems resilience Science journalists Scientific developments Scientists in public relations 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivan Nathanael Lukanda
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of JournalismStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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