It is believed that, the aggrieved parties will come away with the history around the investigation of Olha Brovarets – the young scientist from Ukraine.
From my point of view, Olha’s Brovarets history is very illustrative. One might jump to the conclusion that here is the youngest Doctor of Science in Ukraine, who deals with prospective investigations. Their outcomes were measured by the professional association both in our country and abroad. It is a very pretty story. But it has become the reason for dispute, when it got in media space: the scientists called the bluff of journalists, who “created” sensation, and the journalists hold privacy, stagnation and envy to the more successful colleague against scientists.
Reciprocal claims of “highbrow” scientists and journalists, who “are not able to write about the science” – is wide from being new. The scientists are sure: there is no scientific journalism in Ukraine in fact. It is more difficult to make report about scientific discovery, than about fight in Verkhovna Rada that is why nobody wants to put himself to some bother. Popular socio-political publications prefer news with tag #zrada: corruption in high educational establishments, grants “distribution” in academic institutes, bold statements from politicians on behalf of “science” that all is up, and we have no chances on decent future in knowledge-driven economy. There are critically few stories of success: it is either world-class discovery or “suppression”. In scientists’ opinion, the news about science are fed by the same style laws, as political news. Hence, we have distortion of facts, words, torn from the context, rush towards catchy titles and bold generalization.
On the other hand, journalists also have something to dispute about with the scientists. Employees of research institute consider, that publicity stunt is odd, and sometimes even unhealthy occupation, they communicate unwillingly with the press and cannot tell popular about complete things and presented their developments to the public. Besides, “scientific” content is not interested for editors and specialized publications to the prospective sponsors. That’s why, it is what it is.
The worst thing one can do with this situation – is to continue to exchange insults and make clear who is in fault.
We have the exit, but one has to get rid of stereotypes for this to become the reality. I’m sure, both qualitative science journalism and popular science are realities of modern Ukraine.
First of all, the country is not forged ahead. The science made a step from laboratories towards the “masses” for the last three years. And it turned out that publicity of high-brow things is very fascinating and popular.
Fairs and festivals of science become a holiday for the whole family, and co-workings with the lectures on nuclear physics, require pre-registration from visitors, because they cannot contain all those who wish to come. Fab-labs and incubators of IT-technologies, experiments- and lecture-halls are opened in Ukraine. These are still niche projects, but the more such creative formats will be, the better it is for science. In particular for academic science.
Secondly, the media with scientific content can be popular, and, therefore, it can be interesting to advertisers. The mass of foreign examples is proof of this fact. Such resources in Ukraine just begin to be popular. There are about 50 popular-scientific printed sources (not specialized!) in Ukraine nowadays. Half of them can be called “pseudoscientific”. They write about esotericism and astrology, rather than molecular biology. And the person who dares to talk about “serious” science, but will do it brightly, accessible, competently, has every chance of commercial success. Moreover, scientists themselves recognize such kind of journalism. As one of the employees of the leading Ukrainian research institute recently said, “scientific journalism is in fact an excellent business project”. You will have no competitors if you develop the knack of doing.”
Third, our business can get the profit from the creation of scientific media in Ukraine, specialized news agencies and press centers.
Today many businesspersons, wishing to find innovative ideas and pilot projects, flatly do not know where and whom they will better seek assistance with. Therefore, any media platform, accumulating news from Ukrainian laboratories, institutions and start-ups, will be useful to potential investors. Such a platform will become a “meeting point” for science and business. And business will be interested in supporting such information projects.
Fourth, scientists and media professionals have much to learn from each other. Scientists could tell how to disclose certain scientific topics in a professional manner, and journalists could tell how to communicate with the press and present their discoveries. The format can be either: trainings, express courses, master classes and even workshops. I think that a business that relies on innovation can help with the organization of such training events. The main thing is openness and readiness for dialogue.
It is believed that will come away with the history around the investigation of Olha Brovarets – the young scientist. And one day Olha Brovarets will receive the Nobel Prize, and a discussion about why the science needs the communications and how create them so that everyone will be gainer will finally begin in our society.