EAST AFRICA – East African researchers have welcomed a new web-based application dubbed Script Connect that seeks to enhance the linkage between researchers and science journalists, reports the regional newspaper Business Daily Africa.

Business Daily reported that the online application Script Connect will enhance visibility of studies carried out by researchers from the East Africa region in an effort to closing the science knowledge gap in the region.

Script Connect will also ensure that studies generated by African scholars and scientists are well translated into indigenous languages to enable more local communities to understand them better.

In addition, the online platform will enhance support for capacity-building actions to enable researchers to better communicate effectively their research, findings and innovations to the public.

The web-based application was developed and funded by Robert Busch foundation in collaboration with the Scidev.net, the United Kingdom – based publication that focuses on news analysis of science for development in the countries in the global south.

Often, scientists shy away from engaging the journalists to share their research. What we need is to build capacity for the researchers to effectively communicate their findings or innovations.

Prof Nancy Booker from Agha Khan University


The regional newspaper revealed that the app developers are currently in the process of enlisting agriculture scientists before rolling out to other branches of science such as health.

The Global SciDev training coordinator Dr Charles Wendo explained that there are knowledge gaps in research specifically researchers don’t share new research with fellow researchers as well as science journalists.

During a three-day inaugural Science Journalism Conference organized by Moi University in collaboration with other stakeholders, Dr Charles Wendo reaffirmed that the online platform dubbed Script Connect aims to bridge the science knowledge gap.

There is little science reported in Africa yet we face many challenges which science will provide solutions such as hunger, health and environmental destruction. If you are looking for a plant breeder in Tanzania, this app will help you connect you to the expert,” the Global SciDev training coordinator said.

Director of Policy Engagement and Communications at African Population and Health Research Center Patterson Siena observed that there is low uptake of scientific research by policy actors to inform evidence-based decisions.

 He pointed out that the African region still faces a number of issues such as low agricultural productivity and disease burden that can be solved through science despite the increase in research.

For science to impact on livelihoods, scientists and journalists need to work together and with use of local languages, they will have more impact,” Patterson Siena added.

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