Raise Public Understanding of Science

by Next Einstein Forum
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  • This campaign successfully raised
    $680 with 11 backers
    on January 02, 2017
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This campaign aims to tackle low public understanding of science in Africa by creating platforms to discuss science and development.

  Outreach, Mathematical Physics


One of the factors affecting human development globally is low knowledge and awareness of scientific issues. In Africa, this situation seems to hold back the continent’s development. For example, superstitions prevent people from seeking quality medical care when ill, while governments do not appreciate the socio-economic importance of investing in science and technology. Even among well educated people, scientific knowledge, mindset, and culture is at a low level. This is because some people see science to be colonial in nature and inconsistent with African culture and ways of thought. The recent social media trend, #ScienceMustFall, is a case in point. This position is not accurate. While science is currently dominated by Western scholars, there is a long history of African participation. We aim to inspire more Africans to participate in scientific research and its applications, bringing our uniqueness and diversity to the table.


We are therefore putting in place series of activities to increase the general public’s knowledge of key scientific issues and build a movement for advocacy for greater government investment in science and technology for development. Specifically, we are raising $8650 for this pilot phase (in Ghana and Rwanda) to engage the public through:

1. Two Science BarCamps: this would be organized in partnership with GhScientific, Practical Education Network and other organizations to engage young professionals and university students on utilizing their knowledge in STEM for society’s good. The BarCamps will be day-long events. Formats of engagement include panel discussions, breakout sessions, workshops, and exhibitions, and plenary sessions. Read more on the first Science BarCamp organised in Ghana by GhScientific and GhanaThink. 

Breakout session going on at a Science BarCamp

2. Café Scientifique: positioned to be quarterly engagements focused on discussing relevant scientific topics as they apply to day-to-day lives of ordinary people. It would be structured to take up to two hours. Q & As, panels, and debates would be explored to accommodate a wide range of opinions from experts and activists potentially from AIMS, local universities, research institutions, think tanks, and innovation hubs. As much as possible, the venue would be varied in order to capture an audience relevant to each scientist's work. Topics to be discussed may include climate change, genetically modified organisms, energy, science education, sanitation, illegal mining (galamsey), etc. Scientists presenting at Cafe Scientifiques would benefit from a mini science communication workshop, media publicity, and networking with the NEF/AIMS communities.


The project is expected to involve about 20 scientists to reach 1000 people on the ground. At least 20,000 people would be reached through traditional media and social media. The hashtag #Sci4D would be employed to engage relevant audiences online.  



#Sci4D is led by a team of six Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Ambassadors. NEF Ambassadors are a group of young, dynamic, and entrepreneurial emerging scientific leaders from 54 African countries. Working independently and together under the NEF platform, they seek to draw attention to the amazing work NEF is doing to project African science and promote scientific work going on in their own countries.

Gameli Adzaho, (NEF Ambassador, Ghana) - Lead

Youssef Ahmed, NEF Ambassador, Comoros

Esther Kunda, Intel (NEF Ambassador, Rwanda)

Yara Rodrigues, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia, Portugal (NEF Ambassador, Cabo Verde)

Dr Dexter Tagwireyi, University of Zimbabwe (NEF Ambassaor, Zimbabwe)

Dr Mariamwit Yeshak, Addis Ababa University (NEF Ambassador, Ethiopia)

  Budget Breakdown


  Risks and Challenges

1. If we are unable to reach our fundraising goal, we would scale down on the number of events planned and be more aggressive on partnering with local hubs and universities who may offer reduced cost of hiring facilities.

2. With limited budget for publicity, it may be a challenge generating media attention for the project. However we aim to address this by pitching to editors and producers with interest in scientific and social issues who may naturally be obliged to come on board. We would also rely heavily on social media using the hashtag #Sci4D for publicity.


Raise Public Understanding of Science

This campaign aims to tackle low public understanding of science in Africa by creating platforms to discuss science and development.